This Is Nuts: Colorado Springs Public Input Gagged On Gas and Oil Fracking

Just in from Lotus: This is nuts. Not only is it nuts to allow a mostly unregulated, major polluting industry inside a city of half a million people, but also citizens are being largely gagged on this issue. Oil and gas drilling is dangerous! 60% of well casings in Pennsylvania leaked over a 20 year time span. A new study indicates that fluid migration into aquifers will occur, and faster than almost anyone thought. An increasing number of scientists are now coming forward with similar warnings.

The Health Impact Assessment for Battlement Mesa, Garfield County Colorado concluded that people living within half a mile of fracked wells have a 66 percent greater chance of developing cancer.

A presentation by the Sierra Club called Fracking in Colorado What are the impacts? says that the dangerous chemicals used pose a long term health risk to workers and local communities.

The oil and gas industry has been exempted from most of the Safe Drinking Water Act and is not typically covered under the Clean Air Act. See Affirming Gasland. The Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission is understaffed and very weak on regulation.

Public officials are often afraid to pass strong regulations for fear of a law suit. However, whatever has been used to regulate the oil and gas companies previously is legal now, and at least two important Colorado court cases were won by local governments. An example of a local Colorado government with very strong regulations is Saguache County; and Saguache has NO oil and gas drilling! Another local government with strong regulations located in Texas is Flower Mound.

City Council’s Oil and Gas Committee during its 13 meetings allowed no public input. The May 24 “town hall meeting” was very controlled except toward the end of the meeting. There will be NO hearing on what may be the most important decision this community will ever face.

Council President Scott Hente said in an email recently in reference to the June 26 Council Meeting, “I plan to limit comments to 3 minutes.” It also appears that comments will only be allowed on what the Committee has recommended.

At the May 24 meeting when a member of the audience said he was tired of hearing people say we cannot regulate this or that or we might be sued, and that he thought our health, water, air, and soil are worth suing over, there was a very loud ovation far louder than any other.

At least 7 communities across the US, including Pittsburgh, have avoided a court battle and yet prevented oil and gas drilling by the use of an ordinance based on civil and community rights to health, clean water, air, soil etc. See CELDF, Ben Price.

A C S Gazzette poll on 5-25-12 asked: Will windmills, solar gadgets and other non-traditional energy sources wean us off fossil fuels in the next 30 years? A whopping 68% said yes! Surveys done by our local utility have had similar results. The fact is that we could save trillions of dollars and transition to a solar, wind and other renewables economy fairly quickly. But we do need to stop the massive subsidies to fossil fuels and nuclear power. See Scientific American, Nov, 2009; ; and Reinventing Fire by Amory Lovins ; and Renewable Communities.

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