As Governor Hickenlooper’s Blue Ribbon Oil and Gas Task Force convenes today for the first time, Kim Stevens, Campaign Director for Environment Colorado, issued the following statement:
“We believe Colorado communities should have the right to say “no” to fracking within their borders. That will be the real measure of progress.
Fracking is a significant and growing threat to our air, water, health and land here in Colorado. The industry has drilled more than 18,000 new wells in the state since 2005, with wide-ranging impacts:
- Drilling has led to hundreds of incidents of documented surface and groundwater contamination – including 7,500 gallons of oil spilled from a storage tank into the Cache La Poudre river in June.
- Fracking has consumed more than 26 billion gallons of Colorado water since 2005.
- Fracking has damaged Colorado landscapes. Drilling-related construction – including well pads, access roads and pipelines have transformed more than 57,000 acres of Colorado’s land into industrial zones. That’s more than one-third of the land in the state’s park system.
- Fracking produces billions of gallons of wastewater. Injection disposal of that wastewater can cause earthquakes. In fact, state officials halted wastewater injections near Greely due to increased earthquake activity.
- Researchers from the Colorado School of Public Health have found toxic air pollutants, including benzene, in higher concentrations near fracking well sites.
In light of this growing damage, it is no surprise that Colorado communities are seeking to protect their communities. The public deserves a comprehensive, statewide solution to this problem. In the meantime, Environment Colorado will continue to support local communities seeking to protect their water and their health from fracking.”
For more on the impacts of fracking in Colorado, see Fracking by the Numbers.
Environment Colorado is a statewide, citizen-based environmental advocacy organization working for a cleaner, greener, healthier future. Learn more at www.environmentcolorado.org