Ballot initiatives protect communities from fracking
So much has been in the news lately about oil and gas development issues. Aside from its impact on water, air, wildlife, health, danger of earthquakes, etc., we sometimes forget the nuisance factor. Oil and gas development used to be confined to remote, sparsely populated areas. Now it is cropping up everywhere. Because of horizontal drilling and fracking operations, shale formations can be reached almost anywhere. Do we really want this ongoing, never-ending activity in our own back yards? What about the lights, noise, vibrations and odors? We are turning our communities and farmlands into major industrial areas due to all this activity. New wells are being established constantly. In the July 17 issue of the Daily Camera, an article states that 13 new fracking wells were unanimously approved by Erie’s Planning Commission.
It is time to make our voices heard if we think enough is enough. Now that Governor Hickenlooper has abandoned efforts to get bipartisan legislation on local control passed by a special session, we can support ballot initiatives 88 and 89. Initiative 88 mandates drillings rigs to be set back 2000 feet from homes as opposed to the current setback of only 500 feet. Initiative 89 would add an environmental bill of rights to the state constitution, allowing communities to pass laws that are more protective when compared to state laws. Both initiatives need many more signatures to make it on the ballot. Both initiates will need all our support if we want what is best for our communities.
Please do your part by signing the petition to get these initiatives on the November ballot and please pass the word on to your friends.
Resolve nuclear program in Iran
I was so encouraged to read that negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program have been extended for another four months. This will help us continue to move further away from a nuclear-armed Iran and the risk of another U.S. war in the Middle East.
I hope that Senators Mark Udall and Michael Bennet and Representative Jared Polis will now speak out publicly in support of diplomacy. New sanctions or other saber-rattling measures could undermine the progress our diplomats have made toward a multi-year agreement with Iran.
The Friends Committee on National Legislation has more information on how Congress can support a peaceful resolution of the dispute over Iran’s nuclear program at: fcnl.org/iran.