Colorado readies for ‘all out war’ as anti-fracking measures advance to ballot

Fracking

Source: NaturalNews.com
Lauren McCauley
August 13, 2016

The government of Colorado has so far managed to quash efforts to halt the spread of fracking in that state, but come November, residents will finally have the chance to overpower the will of politicians and Big Oil and Gas.

(Article by Lauren McCauley, republished from Commondreams.org)

Petitioners on Monday submitted more than 200,000 signatures backing two separate initiatives to amend the Colorado constitution, specifically in regards to the controversial drilling method.

“This is a good day for Colorado, and it’s a good day for democracy,” said Lauren Petrie, Rocky Mountain Region director of Food and Water Watch. “These initiatives will give communities political tools to fend off the oil and gas industry’s effort to convert our neighborhoods to industrial sites. This is a significant moment in the national movement to stem the tide of fracking and natural gas.”

Initiative 78 would establish a 2,500-foot buffer zone protecting homes, hospitals and schools, as well as sensitive areas like playgrounds and drinking water sources, from new oil and gas development. This expands the current mandate of a 500-foot setback from homes and, according to Coloradans Resisting Extreme Energy Development (CREED), is based upon health studies that show increased risks within a half mile of fracked wells and the perimeters of real-life explosion, evacuation, and burn zones.

Colorado regulators say that, if passed, Initiative 78 could effectively halt new oil and gas exploration and production in as much of 90 percent of the state.

Initiative 75 would establish local government control of oil and gas development, authorizing local municipalities “to pass a broad range of more protective regulations, prohibitions, limits or moratoriums on oil and gas development—or not,” according to the grassroots group.

This measure challenges a May ruling by the Colorado Supreme Court which said that state law overrides local fracking bans.

Various moratoriums or anti-fracking measures bans have been passed by the communities of Lafeyette, Boulder, Fort Collins, Broomfield, El Paso County, and Longmont—though many of these efforts were quashed by the Supreme Court ruling. Campaigners are hopeful that the initiatives would lay the foundation for many more.

Colorado’s Democratic Governor John Hickenlooper, an infamous proponent of fracking, has voiced his strong disapproval of the ordinances.

The signature deadline was met Monday despite the fact that the citizen volunteers faced harassment and, as Common Dreams previously reported, a massive, industry-funded opposition campaign which included deceptive television ads telling citizens to “decline to sign” the ballot petitions.

Reporting by the Colorado Independent revealed the campaign to be “part of an orchestrated, multi-year effort by both Colorado-based and national energy giants. One of their front groups is Protect Colorado, which funded the petition-gatherer-of-doom TV ad and is actively seeking to thwart citizens from qualifying the two measures for the ballot.”

“Industry has been gearing up for this fight for five years,” Dan Grossman, Rocky Mountain regional director for the Environmental Defense Fund, told ThinkProgress. “This was kind of the pre-fight, the undercard… If either of these make it onto the ballot, we’re going to see a cage match — an all-out war.”

And the stakes are high. As the New York Times put it, should either measure pass, “it would represent the most serious political effort yet” to stop fracking in the U.S..

The Colorado Secretary of State’s Office now has 30 days to authenticate the signatures before they make the ballot. The announcement is expected to be made by September 7.

Read more at: Commondreams.org

DNC Platform Endorses Fracking, Refuses To Recycle Leftover Food, Disavowing Party’s Key Principles

Democrats
Source: NaturalNews.com
Julie Wilson
July 28, 2016

Supporters of the Democratic Party have been abandoned, forgotten and left in the dust, as their purported representatives endorse policies that best serve their own interests, while completely ignoring the wants and desires of their constituents.

This was best illustrated at the Democratic National Convention, when the party made clear their decision to back the environmentally destructive practice known as fracking, giving full-fledged support to Big Oil and Gas.

Historically, Democrats have a reputation for at least pretending to care about the environment, promising to “protect America’s natural resources,” to regulate industry’s biggest polluters to ensure people have clean water, soil and air, and to do whatever it takes to label GMOs.

Bernie supporters flabbergasted by party’s decision to back fracking

But when it comes time to take action, the party falls flat, selling their souls to the very industries citizens are begging to be protected from.

Not only are Bernie Sanders’ supporters (who supported their candidate based mainly on his anti-establishment rhetoric) supposed to now back establishment queen Hillary Clinton, but they’re supposed to get behind fracking, too.

Thousands of protesters braved the scorching heat on Sunday as they marched through the streets of Philadelphia calling for an end to fracking – a process involving high-pressure injection of millions of gallons of water mixed with chemical additives into deep underground rock formations, releasing oil and gas reserves.

Multiple studies have linked fracking to water contamination, air pollution and potential changes in our atmospheric chemistry, creating genuine cause for concern, which seemed to be shared by the Democratic Party – that is until recently.

Flashback on fracking views

Both Clinton and Sanders publicly vowed to at least limit fracking, regulating the industry to ensure clean air and water. Sanders, in fact, unequivocally supported an outright ban on fracking, endorsing the “keep it in the ground” campaign, while vowing to stop future drilling on federal land.

“Some of the differences between the Clinton and Sanders camps are more on strategy than on substance: Both candidates believe in climate change and have said they want to work toward deploying renewable energy,” The Hill reported in June.

It’s now apparent that this does not include a ban on fracking.

“During a 9-hour meeting in St. Louis, Missouri on Friday, members of the DNC’s platform drafting committee voted down a number of measures proposed by Bernie Sanders surrogates that would have come out against the contentious Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), fracking, and the Israeli occupation of Palestine,” according to Common Dreams.

The panel rejected “a national moratorium on fracking as well as new fossil fuel drilling leases on federal lands and waters.”

“[W]e are here today to tell the Democratic Party that their base wants to put an end to fossil fuels and to ban fracking,” Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Watch, said while attending the weekend march.

“We’re demanding a ban on fracking and an end to fossil fuel infrastructure and to keep it in the ground. It’s time to really demand what we want and not half-measures.”

Philanthropy not allowed at the DNC

Fracking isn’t the only issue Democrats flip back and forth on. The party that claims to care deeply about helping the poor, essentially refused to recycle leftover food at a welcome party for delegates at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

One of the delegates, who reportedly “went to bed hungry many a night,” grew angry after the caterer told him that donating the food to the poor “wasn’t allowed,” according to reports.

Democrats actively working against GMO-labeling

Democrats also betrayed their followers on the important issue of GMO-labeling. The promises began with Obama, who vowed to label GMOs during his campaign for presidency. But instead, he appointed Monsanto executives to the head of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The party again blocked GMO-labeling this summer, voting in favor of a bill that forces consumers to rely on QR codes obtained from their smart phones.

The legislation falls hugely short even for consumers who go the extra mile and check QR codes, because the decision about which GMOs will be labeled falls on the future secretary of the USDA, who will be appointed by the next president.

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Read More At: NaturalNews.com

Sources:

Democrats.org

TheHill.com

DemocracyNow.org

Air & Water Contaminated From Fracking In Wyoming Town, Study Finds

Source: RT America
June 28, 2016

Residents of a small Wyoming town have complained for decades of water pollution at the hands of the oil and gas industries, but they may now see some changes coming their way. A new study shows that not only the water, but also the air has been contaminated with byproducts of oil and gas extraction,. The study gives residents hope that federal and state authorities will pay attention to the health risks posed to the town which have been ignored for decades. RT America’s Alexey Yaroshevsky reports.