I’ve seen this community rise in support of many different causes and the issue that faces us now not only demands our attention, but our grassroots support no matter what affiliation or philosophy we individually hold. This is a battle for our environment and the very nature around us! Our decisions today will effect future generations and the legacy we choose to leave them.” – Michael E. Mockler, Publisher Scene Magazine
We citizens of Ft. Collins, Colorado are proud of our water resources. The Poudre River flows unencumbered though our community. It’s vitality offers life to all that come in contact with it. Our brewers rely on the water purity that’s at their disposal to brew their wares. We feel confident when we turn on our faucets that clean, drinkable water will flow. Yet the very concept of clean water for us all is in dire jeopardy.
We once upon a time could claim to have some of the cleanest water in the nation. We are now risking a permanent loss in water quality because of what sneaked in when we weren’t looking. Our ground water is under attack by the most insidious and greedy of all industries, namely Oil and Gas! I’m talking about fracking!
Fracking is a method of extracting oil and gas from shale formations. This heavy industrial activity pushes a mixture of water, sand and carcinogenic chemicals at high pressure down into the earth using millions of gallons of water. There are over 18,000 active wells in Weld County and the industry has its eyes on Larimer County – including Fort Collins. Oil & Gas has leased mineral rights thousands of feet down, often on private property close to our homes and schools.
Unfortunately few residents are aware of fracking and its dangers.
A nonprofit group called Citizens for a Healthy Fort Collins has formed as opponents of hydraulic fracturing with the intention of placing on the November ballot an initiative that would impose a five-year moratorium on fracking within Ft. Collins city limits.
The group intends to pass petitions out in support of the measure. They recently filed notice with the City Clerk’s Office of their intent. After the petitions are approved by the City Clerk, petitioners would have 60 days to collect the signatures of 3,907 city voters to place the initiative on the November 2013 ballot.
The moratorium would allow time for studies to be conducted on the impacts of the practice on residents’ health and safety and on property values, said Kelly Giddens, a member of the group. “We’re not really trying to push back on industry,” she said. “We’re trying to follow an ask-questions-first-and-frack-later approach as opposed to living with some of the consequences other communities are facing now after letting them to frack first and ask questions second.”
If sufficient signatures are collected, the City Council could approve the group’s proposed ordinance establishing the moratorium, or it could pass it along for voters to decide, said City Clerk Wanda Nelson.
“We left like we had no other recourse,” Giddens said. “It’s the responsibility of our governing bodies to make sure we are safe before they allow an industrial activity in a heavily populated urban area, where ‘green’ is our brand.”
With that said, how can we, as responsible citizens stand by and watch our very existence be threatened by greed and avarice?
I urge all Ft. Collins citizens to step up and contact, Citizens for a Healthy Ft. Collins on their website HealthyFOCO.com. Find out how you can donate both your time and money to support a cause that affects us all now and into the far future.
Reference Coloradoan and Elizabeth Hudetz.