For Immediate Release—March 1st, 2019
Denver—Today Senate Majority Leader Stephen Fenberg and House Speaker K.C. Becker introduced the Protect Public Welfare Oil and Gas Operations bill, which will once again allow local communities to regulate oil and gas operations and stipulates that public health and safety must be ensured before fossil fuel drilling permits can be issued. This bill is an important first step in fixing Colorado’s broken fossil fuel regulations. However, it is not enough to protect communities from the dangers of fracking, nor does it take the bold action needed to stop the worst effects of climate change.
Food & Water Watch is committed to working to halt all new oil and gas development in Colorado, in order to protect families from the hazardous public health and climate impacts of fracking.
Statement by Jason Harrison, Food & Water Watch Colorado Organizer
“While we are encouraged that Colorado lawmakers are moving to protect communities from the alarming dangers of oil and gas drilling after decades of overwhelming influence from industry, the Protect Public Welfare Oil and Gas Operations bill is only a first step. It does nothing to mitigate the increasing threat of climate-driven drought and wildfires in our state. If we’re serious about protecting communities and avoiding climate chaos, we need to ban fracking, halt the expansion of oil and gas development, and rapidly transition to 100 percent, clean, renewable energy. Anything less is insufficient.”
Three years ago, the Colorado State Supreme Court overturned the City of Longmont’s fracking ban, ruling that local governments could not regulate oil and gas drilling within their boundaries. Longmont imposed the ban in 2012 after discovering that oil companies planned to drill near its reservoir, and after discovering that a well near a local middle school had been leaking carcinogenic benzene and contaminating groundwater for years. Since the 2016 Supreme Court ruling, families and local authorities have been looking for new ways to restrict drilling near homes, schools, hospitals and water sources.
Contact: Julie Light, 510-992-4083, [email protected]
Food & Water Watch champions healthy food and clean water for all. We stand up to corporations that put profits before people, and advocate for a democracy that improves people’s lives and protects our environment.