Here’s The DC-Based Green Group Responsible For Colorado’s Anti-Fracking Bill

Chris White | Energy Reporter

One of the environmental groups that successfully campaigned to place an anti-fracking measure on Colorado’s November ballot has a long history pushing similar measures in the state.

Washington, D.C.-based activist group Food & Water Watch (FWW) was one of a handful of groups that rushed to support a measure banning oil and gas wells within 2,500 feet of homes in Colorado. FWW, for its part, financially backed one of the local groups that ultimately got the measure approved.

Environmentalists with FWW and 350.org struggled to introduce similar measures in 2014 and 2016, neither of which made a ballot. The anti-fracking campaign reached a milestone this year, with activists from Colorado Rising gathering enough signatures to earn Initiative 97 a statewide up-or-down vote.

“We are delighted that Colorado voters will get the opportunity to protect their families from toxic fracking,” FWW Colorado’s organizer Jason Harrison wrote in a statement Tuesday. “Coloradans should not be subjected to the health hazards of oil and gas operations near their homes, schools, hospitals or parks.” Harrison’s group worked for months on the measure.

FWW supported the measure amid bipartisan opposition from candidates and former Colorado officials, including Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper, former U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, Colorado Democratic Rep. Jared Polis and Republican Colorado State Treasurer Walker Stapleton. (RELATED: Coloradoans Risk ‘Devastating’ Fracking Ban In New Ballot Measure)

Fundraising records from Colorado’s TRACER system show FWW Action Fund provided Colorado Rising with a $190,000 contribution through the Aug. 1 reporting period. They also provided an in-kind contribution to gather signatures. The FWW Action Fund’s press release includes a Washington, D.C., mailing address.

FWW backed a measure in 2015 called “Coloradans Against Fracking” that called for a statewide ban.

Colorado’s oil and gas industry has experienced a recent revival and boom across the state as oil hit $70 a barrel. Colorado is the seventh largest producer of gas in the country. The rise in industry activity corresponded with an increase in the state’s population, causing more friction between residents and industry in recent months.

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