Fractious issue of fracking may reach voters

DENVER — One way or another, Colorado voters could be voting on a measure restricting the use of hydraulic fracturing in the state.

While Gov. John Hickenlooper and some members of the Colorado Legislature struggle with trying to introduce some compromising referendum in the waning days of this year’s session, nearly two dozen citizen initiatives await approval that could strictly limit or even ban the practice.

Hickenlooper, who long has said he opposes any outright ban on fracking, said he’s been working with both sides of the issue, adding that there’s still only a 50-50 chance a compromise will reach the Legislature before it ends this year’s session on Wednesday.

“Whether it’s local government or state government, I don’t think government should come in and snatch somebody’s property,” the governor said of a ban.

“At the same time, there’s clear sentiment across the state that communities want a stronger voice in negotiating circumstances by which someone gets access to those minerals.”

Opponents of the idea aren’t waiting for the Legislature to act.

A large coalition of well-known Democrats and Republicans has already formed an issue committee to fight any ban or restriction on fracturing, which is the now-controversial practice of pumping water and chemicals into the ground to loosen formations to help release natural gas deposits.

That group, Coloradans for Responsible Reform, says the effort to ban fracking isn’t taking into account several factors, not the least of which is that there is little evidence that fracking, which has been used in Colorado for decades, has posed any health risk.

Additionally, banning it would devastate the state’s economy, causing the loss of thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in tax revenues, they said.

Members of the coalition say those anti-fracking groups don’t really care about Colorado’s economy or any potential health aspects here. Several are out-of-state environmentalists who merely want to end the use of fossil fuels, they say.

“These new proposals have nothing to do with local control, but are actually all about shutting down any business someone may not like,” said Greeley Mayor Tom Norton, a former Republican president of the Colorado Senate.

“(One proposal) states that any business in a community could have its right to operate eliminated. That’s not local control, that’s local tyranny.”

Several of the proposed ballot measures are being backed by Tom Steyer, a San Francisco billionaire and climate-change activist. He and U.S. Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo., are financing several of the proposals.


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$10 a gallon gasoline coming to a station near you soon if fracking is banned.

Fracking makes people sick.

The Daily Sentinel has completely omitted coverage of a recent landmark court ruling in which a Texas ranching family won a $2.95 million civil judgement against Aruba Petroleum for ruining their health by fracking around their home. Evidence drew a bright, clear line from the drilling and fracking operations within 2 miles of their home to the onset of severe illnesses in an otherwise heathy mother, father and 6 year old, to the point where their family physician said they had to move out of their home or risk death. The mother was found to have 20 constituents of petroleum in her bloodstream. She developed constant nausea and open sores so bad she had to go to the ER, where they had to pack her body in ice to relieve her pain. The six year old got severe nosebleeds in her sleep and repeatedly woke up in pools of blood. The husband started losing his memory:

Family wins landmark $2.95 million ruling against fracking company for ruining their health

Texas family plagued with ailments gets $3M in 1st-of-its-kind fracking judgment

Dallas Jury Awards Family $2.95M in Barnett Fracking Lawsuit

This verdict in this case has been covered by news outlets around the world, but not in the Daily Sentinel. Why not? This is very important to our area.

The lawsuit mentioned above is an isolated incident and I suspect the jurors decision was emotionally biased without proper regard paid to the facts presented by the expert toxicologists in the case. I noticed that the attorney for Aruba doubts the verdict will stand up to appeal. Also, the most likely culprit to any water well contamination, poor or inadequate cementing of the well surface casing was never even mentioned. Proper well casing and cementing should be more of a concern than fracking.

The use of fracking is widespread. If it’s so bad, why haven’t we seeing multitudes of people reporting to emergency rooms and doctors offices over the last 50 years since it’s invention, rather than the one or two isolated incidents here and there in the last 10 years? The paranoia promoted by the green anti-carbon agenda and lawsuit profiteering promoted by ambulance chasing lawyers has given fracking more of a bad reputation than it deserves.

Typo correction…the first line in the last paragraph should read “why haven’t we seen”...not “seeing”

The family sickened by drilling around their home is hardly an isolated incident. Their neighbors, the Ruggieros, were similarly sickened by the drilling and fracking and were responsible for most of the meticulous documentation and record-keeping that won the case for their neighbors, the Parrs. Their documentation can be seen here:

and many videos of Aruba’s emissions, leaks and violations here:

Here is the Ruggiero’s story of how everything they spent a lifetime building was destroyed by Aruba Petroleum:

Many other people, including many in this area, have been sickened and lost their property value due to drilling and fracking. There is no database of this information, though, and so far no one is compiling it.

So what is your solution to the problem? Do you want to see fracking banned? Do you want 100,000+ Coloradoans to lose their jobs? Do you want reduced domestic energy production, more petroleum imports from overseas and increased costs at the pump and with our utility bills? Do you want us to all go back to riding horses? Well, I’m allergic to horses. Who can I sue if we have to go back to horseback riding and I suffer a severe allergic reaction and asthma attack from the horse? Just what is your solution Ms. Landman?

Thank you for admitting there is a problem here, and that killing other people’s families to keep warm is not an answer. The answer lies in a Manhattan project for renewable energy, not in pursuing more fossil fuels.

I’m not admitting to the same problem that you are. The public has spoken. In 1973 during the gas crisis, people temporarily bought econo cars…Ford Pinto and the like. Solar and wind power were articles in Mechanic’s Illustrated. Look how little solar and wind have come since 1973. As soon as petroleum became cheap, Cadillacs were back. It’s what the public wants. And if self appointed gods like George Soros and Tom Steyer think they can force us to change before we are ready, then they have a narcissistic personality disorder. Solyndra was a huge success…right? NOT!

I understand we will eventually run out of fossil fuels and a change will have to be made. But it’s not going to happen overnight and people who think they can force us to change overnight by power and control will only be met with futility. The infrastructure just isn’t in place for our society to continue to function and have an instant switch to green energy. It’s going to take a long time. Strong arm tactics that hurt the wallet of the average person will only engender resistance.

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