Anti-fracking rally in Denver
A rapidly growing list of business and environmental leaders, non-profits and entertainers are joining forces to fight against hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking” in Colorado.
On Oct. 23, at Civic Park on Capitol Hill in Denver, a coalition called “Frack Free Colorado” will draw attention to the dangers of fracking and call for a concrete plan to move the state of Colorado away from natural gas and other dirty extractive industries and toward a renewable energy economy.
“As Coloradans, we feel that it’s imperative to assess the environmental and health impacts of the fracking process,” says Allison Wolff, CEO of Vibrant Planet and co-organizer of Frack Free CO. “The collective goal of everyone involved in Frack Free Colorado is to open up a dialogue regarding the effects of fracking on our communities, families and environment. We want to educate the public on the dangers of this process and accelerate clean energy alternatives.”
Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is a technique used to extract gas and oil from rocks that are 2,000 to 10,000 feet below the earth’s surface. Deep wells are drilled through the aquifer to reach shale rock formations and then millions of gallons of chemicals, sand and water are injected at high pressure into the soft, sedimentary rock, breaking it apart and releasing stores of methane and oil. The natural gas industry enjoys special exemption from The Safe Drinking Water Act, The Clean Water Act, The Clean Air Act, , and the National Environmental Policy Act for this dangerous fracking process. A single fracked well requires an access road, 2-8 million gallons of fresh water, between 10,000 and 40,000 gallons of chemicals, many of them known carcinogens and endocrine disrupters, and at least 1,000 diesel truck trips. There are over 45,000 fracked wells in Colorado, with plans to triple that number in the next decade. The enduring effects of fracking are unknown.
The Frack Free Colorado event on Oct. 23, is modeled after the successful New York event “Songs Against Drilling” earlier this year blending education with entertainment as celebrities and experts take the stage to voice their concerns about fracking and celebrate our opportunity to move to renewable energy today. Celebrities in attendance will include Daryl Hannah, Mariel Hemmingway and Leilani Munter (car racing’s Carbon Free Girl). Jakob Dylan and Rami Jaffee of the Wallflowers and Colorado band, Elephant Revival will perform along with other to be announced musicians. Fracking experts like acclaimed ecologist and author Sandra Steingraber and Sam Schabacker from Food & Water Watch will help educate the public about fracking.
“The natural gas industry, which has been mistakenly touted as a clean energy provider, is polluting our rivers, aquifers, wildlife and citizens,” explains Tara Sheahan, Founder of Global Conscious Leadership. “In addition, oil and gas companies estimate that they will use approximately 6.5 billion gallons of water in Colorado this year. Our state does not have enough water to support this growing industry. Frack Free Colorado’s goal is to help people take action to lessen their dependence on natural gas and move everything from their consumer spending to investments to businesses that support a sustainable future—we need to start living like First Nation people who view the earth as a relative versus a resource to exploit. Post event, we are organizing a number of meetings with leaders across government, business, and nonprofit sectors to design a plan for speeding Colorado’s economy toward one based on renewable energy and sustainable food systems.”
Yvon Chouinard, the founder of Patagonia, explains, “clean water is the most important element on the planet. According to environmental futurists such as Lester Brown, we will run out of water well before we run out of oil or topsoil. Hydraulic fracturing is a process that further accelerates the decline of our clean water supplies.”
Frack Free Colorado is sponsored by Patagonia, Prana, Black Diamond, New Belgium Brewing Company, Backpacker’s Pantry, Vibrant Planet, Conscious Global Leadership, The Invisible Spark, 1% for the Planet and Backbone Media. The event’s co-organizers include actor Mark Ruffalo’s Water Defense, Food & Water Watch, Clean Water Action, CREDO, Sierra Club, etown, Fractivist, Rock the Earth, East Boulder County United, Wilderness Workshop, Erie Rising, The Mothers Project, Adams County Unite Now, Boulder County Citizens for Community Rights, Our Health Our Future Our Longmont and What the Frack?! Arapahoe.
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