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Home / Articles / Views / Letters /  Letters | Fracking report inaccurate
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Thursday, October 10,2013

Letters | Fracking report inaccurate

Fracking report inaccurate

[Re: “Report: Colorado among top three frack-wracked states in nation,” News, Oct. 3.] The floods of just a few short weeks ago have shown that the oil and gas industry is extraordinarily prepared, responsive in real time and focused on assisting our neighbors in this great state to rebuild. This is the time we, as Coloradans, need to work together to make Colorado stronger. This is not the time for politics or an agenda.

Unfortunately, the fractivists are using Colorado’s worst natural disaster, a true travesty for our state, to push an unproductive agenda. Environment Colorado’s recent report of “Fracking by the Numbers” illustrates the doomsday image they have regarding a product we all use each and every day. The report relies heavily on discredited science, inaccurate assumptions and definitions and manipulated figures to reveal these groups true agenda: to ban all oil and gas development in Colorado. Banning oil and gas development in Colorado prevents 111,000 Coloradans and their families from working, removes $1.6 billion in annual public revenue to our state and communities, hurts our most vulnerable with higher energy costs, and dirties our air due to less natural gas use for electricity generation.

Doug Flanders, Colorado Oil & Gas Association/Denver

Vote yes on frack ban

The nationwide push for fracking is the next great Ponzi scheme that is being pushed onto unsuspecting investors by Wall Street banks and the irreputable gas companies still in the fracking industry. Don’t believe it? Consider Deborah Rogers, a top Wall Street analyst, who reports in Shale and Wall Street: Was the Decline in Natural Gas Prices Orchestrated? (published February 2013) the following line of reasoning: In 2011, the U.S. supply of natural gas exceeded demand by four times. Gas production from shale plays has declined far faster than forecast, which means the gas companies needed to keep drilling more and more wells in the last few years to keep up production and cash flow.

This situation is obscured by Wall Street banks, which package and flip gas leases to big investors much like they did during mortgage securities crisis. The gas industry itself is withdrawing from big projects, despite public rhetoric to the contrary. The big hope of Wall Street and Canadian banks is to profit from the difference in the domestic and international prices for gas and tar sands oil by exporting it to China and India.

This line of reasoning is backed up by another reputable researcher, acclaimed energy expert Robert Heinberg in his 2013 publication, Snake Oil: How Fracking’s False Promise of Plenty Imperils Our Future. The title speaks for itself. Heinberg is director of the Post Carbon Institute (postcarbon.org), a research center that offers policy recommendations rooted in reality, not rhetoric. Their suggestions on how to transition the energy base of the U.S. economy away from fossil fuels towards alternative energy should be required reading for all government policy leaders who are concerned about our energy future.

And we should stop investing in these Ponzi schemes peddled by Wall Street banks, which caused our last financial crisis, and care nothing for the American people or our environment. That’s why I, as a Lafayette resident, will be voting yes on 300, the Lafayette ballot measure that will ban fracking in our town when it will becomes law on Nov. 5!

Rick Casey/Lafayette

The Lafayette City Council issued a verbose and factually false resolution opposing ballot question 300, the Lafayette Community Bill of Rights that bans hydraulic fracturing within the city limits.

The correct and, in fact, only reason for the city’s opposition is fear of a lawsuit. Instead, the resolution hectors residents with the standard industry talking point — that mineral owners’ property rights supersede the rights of Lafayette citizens to protect their own health and safety. Rather than aligning with its citizens and holding the industry accountable for coercing local communities, the city council instead attacks its own citizens for asserting their right to say no.

The council resolution says that the city has a proven track record of protecting citizens from the adverse effects of drilling. False. The city approved building permits in Silver Creek, an area adjacent to a producing well that had an open toxic waste pit. Given the well’s age, the pit was undoubtedly unlined. More disturbing, the pit was simply back-filled. Earth moving has been going on for months in preparation for development. The city council said they didn’t know about the waste pit (this information could have been gleaned from the COGCC’s website, where activists found it) so the city never tested the soil to ensure the safety of future homebuyers and their families.

In August, the city council enacted a three-year moratorium. The council didn’t tell residents that the city immediately received a warning letter from the Colorado Oil & Gas Association. The gist of the letter: A moratorium provides no relief from an industry lawsuit and, in fact, is just as likely to provoke one.

This is the exact reason for the Lafayette Community Rights Act. All levels of government have been negligent in protecting the people of Colorado so communities are stepping up to fill in the void. That’s why we need to say Yes to Question 300, the Lafayette Community Rights Act.

Merrily Mazza/Lafayette

Municipalization matters

I saw the latest ad for Ballot Question 310. They made a mistake in it. The real name for 310 should be the “Xcel Profit Protection Plan.” Don’t allow Xcel to kill municipalization just so they can keep passing on fossil fuel costs directly to us, their captive customers, and continue making tens of millions of dollars in profit just from Boulder. Vote NO on 310, and give your friends and family a chance to have a clean energy municipal electric utility, with stable rates benefiting from zero cost fuel, that keeps our energy dollars at home, our economy strong, and our climate healthy.

Todd Stewart/Boulder

Good call, Obama

I applaud President Obama for picking up the phone to talk to Iran’s new president and for discussing the importance of U.S.-Iran cooperation to resolve global conflicts.

This phone call marks an important step forward in pressing for an end to the vicious cycle of confrontation that has plagued the U.S. and Iran for decades.

Carole Mock/Lafayette

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