Activists Scurry To Find Support For Anti-Fracking Proposals

Chris White | Energy Reporter

Activists in Colorado with the “Keep It In The Ground” movement have until Monday to get nearly 100,000 valid signatures for two state ballot initiatives essentially banning fracking.

Campaign finance disclosure reports show that environmentalist groups Food & Water Watch (F&WW), Greenpeace and the Bill McKibben-created eco-activist group 350.org have all played a part in pushing the initiatives. All three groups have donated time and money supporting these initiatives.

Ballot initiatives 75 and 78, if approved placed on the ballot and approved by voters, would add language to Colorado’s state constitution increasing local control on the degree with which natural gas producers can engage in fracking in areas.

F&WW has been sending out advertisements for signature gatherers on behalf of the initiative. Activists with the group are calling the initiatives “the biggest,” most important fight on behalf of the environment this year.

“This will be one of the biggest environmental fights in the country this year,” Lauren Petrie, Rocky Mountain region director for Food and Water Watch, told reporters in June. “All eyes will be on the outcome for these Colorado ballot initiatives.”

“Keep It In The Ground” crusaders have etched out a position opposing all fossil fuel development, including divesting the entire world of oil investments, and have taken to increasingly extreme tactics to push forward that message.

Simon Lomax, an analyst with free market group Independence Institute, told the Daily Caller News Foundation

“No wonder the state’s business community is on high alert this year, when you see far-left groups like 350.org and Food & Water Watch and far-left donors like [Tom] Steyer and [George] Soros paying so much attention to Colorado,” Lomax said.

He added: “They want to use our state to score political points on the national stage, regardless of the economic consequences for those who live here.”

The last-ditch effort to have any affect on the state’s fracking industry sprang up in May when Colorado’s Supreme Court decided to allow state law to supersede that of local ordinances on hydraulic fracturing. The court’s ruling all but ended the ability for a city in the state to declare moratoriums on natural gas development.

Activists such as McKibben and others orchestrated a massive rally in opposition to both the Supreme Court’s ruling and fracking in general.

The rally managed to repel state legislators once allied with the anti-fracking movement. Break Free 2016, the group that hosted the rally, boasted in media accounts prior to the event their intention of bringing more than 1,000 people to the event. Activists affiliated with Break Free 2016 are also spearheading the fracking restricting November ballot initiatives.

The oil production in the Centenial State tipped dramatically upward from 2004 to 2014, as the state’s natural gas output leaped by 51 percent during that period of time, according to data compiled by the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

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