Reading a letter in The Denver Post yesterday I had to laugh. The mental midget (or perhaps spineless weenie) that wrote it complained about Boulder, CO residents using over the top and uncivil protests to stop fracking when they could make their case in a much more dignified way. His suggestion? Boycott oil and gas products! Simple! Shit, why didn't I think of that right here in Colo. Springs! Yeah, right! You are going to trade the serious and revolting contamination of your whole water supply for weasly boycotts when ferocious protests and fights are called for!
Here in Colo. Springs, we're gearing up for such a fight if our City Council doesn't back down. Meanwhile, in Longmont, CO - to the north - the citizenry are gearing up for a multi-battle legal war as well as likely further protests against the insatiable gas frackers (or 'gas bastards' as one friend who attended a recent screening of 'Gasland' -showing fracked water, put it).
To recap: Longmont voters on Nov. 6th changed the city charter to prohibit fracking or hydraulic fracturing, and the storage of fracking waste in the city. This fracking waste or "produced water,” as it is known in the oil industry is by far the largest toxic byproduct produced by the shale oil-fracking industry, and in addition to salt, it is often loaded with chemicals, residual oil and heavy metals. See my earlier blog on the fracking war in Colorado Springs for a list of these toxics).
By one estimate, the volume of fracked or produced water generated by oil fields worldwide exceeds petroleum by a factor of three. According to Department of Energy figures, at the most “mature” oil fields in the United States, the amount of water extracted may exceed oil by more than 50 times. In other words, if two million gallons of fracked oil (say shale oil) are retrieved, some 100 million gallons of potable water will have been contaminated to achieve it.
Make no mistake that this befouled water represents one of the largest costs incurred by oil companies, since it typically must be trucked to offsite desalinization and treatment facilities, or pumped into deep underground disposal wells. Currently, 65 percent of water produced annually at American oil fields is reinjected into disposal wells, according to the Produced Water Society, a group of engineers and scientists based in Houston. In fields where water is not reinjected, it often lingers at the surface in evaporation ponds, where it can leach into surface water or become a dangerous attractant for migratory birds. Such fracked evap ponds were exposed in the documentary 'Gasland' as well as other exposes - some of which glaringly showed people puking nonstop after ingesting fracked water from their taps. Many in fracked areas, locales have been forced into buying bottled water, though they still have to bathe in the fracked, brownish, oil-tainted stuff.
Given this one can readily understand just why Longmont residents passed their charter to prohibit fracking. Why was the charter needed? Well, earlier this year Longmont's far seeing City Council (unlike the sellouts in Colorado Springs) passed tougher local regulations (as many cities on Colorado's Front Range are now attempting) but were thwarted by Democratic Whore- in -chief Gubernator, John Hickenlooper (the same loopy nut that once drank fracked water to show it was safe) who - get this - directed state attorneys to sue the city, challenging local authorities. Demos like this we don't need!
Seeing that other anti-fracker threats may surface in other communities (e.g. Boulder), the state's whoring lawmakers (Dem and Repuke) then established "The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission" to use as a front to halt any anti-fracking initiatives - though their PR spiel is "to simultaneously regulate and promote development of oil and gas resources". Make the emphasis on the last, and forget "conservation" - if these creeps and whores were in any way invested in conserving they'd PROTECT this drought-stricken state's water supply as opposed to contaminating it and sending our drastically limited water supply even lower!
Anyway, to make a longish Longmont story shorter, The Denver Post reported Sunday ('Industry Targets Fracking Ban', p. 3A) that the The Colorado Oil and Gas Association (the privately governed twin of the state creature) "hit Longmont with a lawsuit to kill voters' recent ban on fracking within city limits".
The Oil & Gas Association bullies insist the ban - even though voted on - is "illegal" because it "denies mineral owners the rights to develop their property and blocks operations that state laws allow."
Then....how can I say this? The state laws are asses. They need to be changed, but perhaps not until we get the bought and paid for whores who masquerade as our reps out of Denver. Anyway, COGA has asked the Weld County district court to "invalidate the resolution passed by Longmont voters".
Ain't democracy a great thing when a private outfit can entice a court to overturn a voters' electoral decision? Almost sounds like a Banana Republic to me. Surely, a Faux democracy....or better yet, a Corporatocracy! Because this is exactly what the word means: that powerful corporate interests can invalidate, trump or violate the voters' wishes or choices whenever the hell they want!
Fortunately, Longmont leaders - unlike many wusses in D.C., are prepared to FIGHT back, not take it lying down. City Councilwoman Katie Witt, quoted in the same DPost piece:
"We will vigorously defend our charter and the will of the people!"
Bravo, Katie! I just wish we could transfer some of your DNA to some of the sellouts in D.C....and Colorado Springs!