CO Organizations Call Out Hickenlooper, Invite Candidates to See Fracking Firsthand

July 25, 2019

Contact: Patricia Garcia-Nelson, [email protected], (337)532-0135

Colorado Organizations Call Out Hickenlooper’s Debate Statement, Invite Presidential Candidates to See Harms of Fracking Firsthand

Ahead of Democratic Presidential Debate in Detroit next week, frontline communities who have experienced fracking under former Gov. Hickenlooper state that he is not the climate leader he says he is 

Denver, CO – Colorado grassroots organizations sent a letter to all of the presidential candidates addressing the statements that former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper made about natural gas, fracking, and climate change at the first Democratic debate. The organizations issued an invitation to the presidential candidates to come to Colorado, meet with them, and see firsthand the disastrous impacts drilling and fracking is having in their communities. They pointed to the fact that the overwhelming majority of more than 1,500 peer-reviewed scientific studies demonstrate that drilling and fracking pose serious risks and harms to public health and the environment.

A copy of the letter is available here:

In the debate, Hickenlooper pointed to methane controls in Colorado, and by extension fracking and natural gas, as a climate solution. As the letter states, “This is wrong. Science is clear that the cumulative greenhouse gas implications of fracking, including drilling, necessary infrastructure such as pipelines and compressor stations, and the ultimate combustion of natural gas make it disastrous for the climate. It is as bad, or possibly worse, as coal, given the extremely high potency of methane released throughout the process. The methane controls the governor referred to are equivalent to putting filters on cigarettes. Yes, they help a little, but they won’t stop us from climate catastrophe, or from getting cancer.”

The letter to the presidential candidates concludes, “We invite you to come to our state and our communities to meet those of us harmed by fracking, see the impacts on our lives, and to recognize the science demonstrating that it is disastrous for the climate and cannot be part of any serious climate plans.”

“In continuing to spin dangerous, untruthful assertions about the inherently hazardous, climate-killing process of fracking, Governor Hickenlooper has now firmly planted himself on the wrong side of history,” said Food & Water Action Colorado Organizer Jason Harrison. “Any Democrat serious about winning the presidential nomination would be wise to acknowledge the realities of public health and climate disaster with regard to fossil fuels, and clearly call for a ban on fracking everywhere, now.”

“A recent Harvard study showed that the dangerous spike in global methane levels – a powerful greenhouse gas – is largely originating in the US during the same timeframe as the US fracking boom has emerged,” said 350 Colorado Action Board Member Micah Parkin. “The methane emission rates we see in Colorado and most other places across the nation are worse for the global climate than burning coal, so Hickenlooper is dead wrong about any fracking benefits to our global climate.”

“For too long old-line Dems have walked the oil industry tight rope hoping that climate and continued large scale oil development are compatible,” said whistleblower Phil Doe, formerly of the US Bureau of Reclamation. “Well, the scientific evidence overwhelmingly says they aren’t.  Fossil fuels are killing us, and it is time for responsible Dems to step up to the plate and admit it, without hysterics or caterwauling. It’s a life or death matter.”

Patricia Garcia-Nelson, impacted resident from Greeley, CO said, “For years, Hickenlooper gave the industry free reign to operate in our state, while ignoring public health and safety. Coloradans have decided enough is enough. We are now fighting to clean up the mess left by his administration. No other industry would be permitted to build a massive, toxic site a few hundred feet from a school like they are doing with the fracking wells at Bella Romero in Greeley. We can no longer allow oil and gas to put our children and future at risk. We are running out of time to act.”

Patricia has been featured in the New York Times and the Daily Show, among others, about the terrible environmental injustices from fracking at Bella Romero, where her son attends school.