In the News/Citizen Opinions
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Updates and discussion on local as well as national fracking news by Longmont citizens group.
Fracking ban court decision pushes conversation toward constitutional rights by Elizabeth Miller, Boulder Weekly
The lawsuit to defend Longmont’s voterapproved fracking ban is moving on from the district court, where a judge issued a summary judgment against it, but a stay against fracking in Longmont while the case is appealed to a higher court.
Documents: Leaked Industry E-Mails and Reports
Over the past six months, The New York Times reviewed thousands of pages of documents related to shale gas, including hundreds of industry e-mails, internal agency documents and reports by analysts.
Debunking the gas industry’s pitch, by Joel Dyer, Boulder Weekly
Does unrestrained drilling really lead to the promised tens of thousands of new jobs and energy independence?
Our Longmont and Other Groups Ban Together and File Motion to Intervene in Lawsuit.
A coalition of community, public health, consumer and environmental organizations filed a motion to intervene in the Colorado Oil and Gas Association’s lawsuit that seeks to invalidate Longmont’s ban of the oil and gas practice known as “fracking” and related surface activities, such as storage of toxic post-fracking fluids.
TOP joins fracking lawsuit against Longmont, Times Call, March 3, 2013, Scott Rochat
“TOP Operating, the principal oil and gas drilling company in the Longmont area, has asked to join a lawsuit against the city over its fracking ban.
In its proposed complaint, TOP said the ban “affects and renders impossible” its plans to drill in Longmont, including wells that the City Council agreed to last summer.”
Drilling and fracking have destroyed value of our most significant investment — our homes, The Colorado Statesman, Jan 18, 2013, by Adam Cox
“As the pace of oil and gas development increases in Colorado the controversy and impacts on our communities and public health have been well documented. However, one impact to Coloradans which not has received as much attention is how drilling and fracking has impacted Colorado’s real estate and the value of Coloradans’ most significant investment and nest egg — our homes. ”
City in Colorado Is Sued Over a Drilling Ban, New York Times, December 18, 2012, by Jack Healy
“The lawsuit, filed on Monday by the Colorado Oil and Gas Association, seeks to overturn the ban on the contentious practice that passed by a wide margin last month in the northern Colorado city of Longmont. “
Fracking fights back – With the help of Colorado’s Democratic governor, the oil and gas industry is trying to overturn fracking bans, SALON, David Sirota
“But, then, for all his gauzy billing as a left-leaning moderate, Hickenlooper is essentially an oil and gas lobbyist in a Democratic Party costume. This is a man who, as a sitting governor, paid back his election campaign’s oil and gas contributions by appearing as the spokesman for the oil and gas lobby in its paid political ads; by deploying his officials to sue to overturn Longmont City Council’s previous zoning regulations for fracking; and by appointing one of his oil industry donors to a key regulatory position.
He is the governor who, according to the Denver Post, has presided over a “wave of gas and oil drilling … resulting in spills at the rate of seven every five days” — and yet also resulting in Hickenlooper administration “regulators rarely penaliz(izing) companies responsible for spills.”
Hickenlooper is also the guy who has repeatedly ignored scientific evidence in asserting that groundwater contamination from fracking is “inconceivable.” Oh, and on top of all that, he also insists that there’s no evidence climate change is even happening.”
With Ban on Drilling Practice, Town Lands in Thick of Dispute, NEW YORK TIMES, Jack Healy
“LONGMONT, Colo. — This old farming town near the base of the Rocky Mountains has long been considered a conservative next-door neighbor to the ultraliberal college town of Boulder, a place bisected by the railroad and where middle-class families found a living at the vegetable cannery, sugar mill and Butterball turkey plant. “
Defending Article XVI of the Longmont city charter, Editorial by Gordon Pedrow
“The first official act of newly elected city council members is to swear an oath to uphold the constitution of the United States, the constitution of the State of Colorado and the Charter of the City of Longmont. “
Longmont first city in Colorado to ban ‘fracking’
Vote to ban fracking in Longmont, Editorial By Tim Schabacker
“I worked for the natural gas industry for 35 years. My family benefited from the income we derived from natural gas.
However, I am dead set against fracking next to homes, schools and public water sources in Longmont. I am writing to encourage Longmont residents to vote “yes” on Question 300 to ban fracking in Longmont city limits.”
Longmont took stance against residential oil and gas wells in 1995
“”The potential fire hazard of wells on and next to a residential community,” reads ordinance O-95-47, “and the danger to residents and golfers from additional truck and service vehicle traffic and other perils associated with oil and gas development are contrary to the health, safety and welfare of present and future citizens, residents and golfers.”"
Pay attention to Longmont Ballot Question 300 claims – Editorial by Jean Ditslear
“This election I am casting a “yes” vote on Question 300. I just want to take a moment to share some wisdom I’ve learned over the past year about this issue: Read carefully the information you receive on any issue and pay particular attention to word choice. “
Anti-300 mailer was sent to the wrong house – Editorial By Lindsay Gahn
“The truth is that the people who are pushing this dirty industry into our city are the ones distorting or ignoring the facts. Here are the facts that have fueled my passion. “
Gov. Hickenlooper Longmont visit draws oil, gas protesters – Scott Rochat Longmont Times-Call
“This was supposed to be a quiet candlelight vigil — I don’t know what happened,” said a smiling Michael Bellmont of “Our Health, Our Future, Our Longmont,” another of the night’s panelists. “Maybe it became a halogen vigil.”
‘Cultural divide’ shapes Colo.’s clash with city drilling rules – Energy Wire, Mike Soraghan, E&E reporter
LONGMONT, Colo. — Kaye Fissinger can point to where every oil and gas well will be drilled around Union Reservoir. Not that she’s welcoming them.
As a breeze broke the stillness, lifted the branches of shade trees and pushed a small catamaran across the small lake on a Wednesday afternoon last month, she pointed to the one already there.
In the distance was a beige tank battery, the pipes, tanks and other equipment that remain after a well is drilled. It is the first of eight wells expected to be drilled at the city park around the lake under an agreement between the driller and the city government.
Hey, Gov! Which mouth are we to believe? – Editorial by Former Longmont City Manager, Gordon Pedrow
“The Times-Call ran articles covering the speech on both Thursday and Friday with these headlines: “Hickenlooper says Longmont drilling rules must be challenged,” and “Gov. Hickenlooper: Drilling regulations need more work…It would appear that the governor was speaking out of both sides of his mouth last week.”
I’m voting to ban fracking in Longmont, Opinion, Joan Peck, Times-Call
“However, these regulations and the memorandum of understanding (MOU) with TOP Operating are weak and do not fully protect us. They are filled with loopholes that allow the industry and council to ignore home rule. Thus the petition drive enabling us to vote to ban fracking within our city limits. The regulations and petition drive are causing a furor at the state level. That’s OK. We are not apathetic residents.”
Longmont fracking foes submit petitions for proposed ballot measure, Times-Call
“Supporters of an anti-fracking charter amendment turned in their petitions to the Longmont City Clerk on Friday, submitting more than 8,200 signatures.
Fracking Industry Follows Tobacco Industry’s Deceptive Playbook, Boulder Weekly
“A thorough and well reported Bloomberg News story today revealed that several recent academic studies on fracking were ultimately funded by the gas drilling industry itself.”
St. Vrain Valley Voices: Lost in the fog by Fred Gabriel, Opinion, Times-Call
“What is the real truth about what fracking will do to this town? Only you can decide that for yourself. Only you can decide if it’s worth rolling the dice. What is the upside for you, your children and the town? What is the downside? What are the unknowns? The list is long, and that is undeniable.”
St. Vrain Valley Voices: Oil and gas regs unsettled law by Kaye Fissinger, Opinion, Times-Call
“Our Health, Our Future, Our Longmont believes that the Colorado Constitution gives all residents the right to protect their property and live safe, healthy lives. It is the authority to which all of Colorado’s statutes must be subordinated, and thus it does not give the oil and gas industry the freedom to damage our property values, endanger our families or pollute our air and water.”
St. Vrain Valley Voices: Best gift is cleaner air, water by Nina Bennett, Opinion, Times-Call
“Response of the oil industry has been similar to that of the tobacco industry, which ignored evidence of the links between smoking and health problems. Dr. Helen Podgainy, a pediatrician in Coraopolis, Pa., declares she doesn’t want her patients “to be guinea pigs who provide the next generation the statistical proof of health problems as in what happened with those exposed to asbestos or to cigarette smoke.” Neither do I want my family to be so affected!”
St. Vrain Valley Voice: Costs of fracking would outweigh costs of banning it in Longmont by Kate Johnson, Opinion, Times-Call
“And that’s just the beginning. What about the costs of emergency response if and when there are spills and accidents? What about the losses in tax revenues when property values plummet? What about the increased costs of health care to the residents of Longmont when our air quality gets as bad as Erie’s? The list of potential costs to taxpayers if fracking comes to town goes on and on, and our health and well-being aren’t really things you can even put a price tag on.”
Jim Wilson: Fracking — Who’s facts are the truth?, Opinion, Times-Call
“The choice about whether to allow fracking or not is a choice between the profit motive and our personal health and safety. So when looking at whose ‘facts’ are real it is clear to me whom I will believe.”
We can’t take fracking risks lightly by Jean Ditslear, Opinion, Times-Call
“I don’t think every person living next to every well will get sick and die. I don’t think the sky is falling. But I do think as time passes, we will likely find — like asbestos, lead paint, cigarettes — that living close to oil and gas wells has made some people sick. We will find that the regulations in place and the government’s ability to enforce them have been inadequate to prevent this from happening.”