Colorado Oil & Gas Association addresses municipal energy bans
DENVER -- In a recent statement following a municipal vote, Tisha Schuller, president and CEO of the Colorado Oil & Gas Association, addressed the community, on behalf of her organization.
“The close election in Broomfield proves that common sense prevails in mainstream Colorado communities when it comes to energy production. In Broomfield, which was the only true swing community contemplating an energy ballot measure, the voters unofficially defeated an energy ban by 13 votes; the ban would have overturned tough and sensible energy regulations passed by the city council last September.
There was also a victory in the hearts and minds of voters in Fort Collins, where 44% of the voters recognized that the proposed five-year energy ban jeopardizes their community. During the course of the campaign, Ft. Collins City Council passed a resolution recommending voters there not support the energy ban. The Fort Collins Chamber of Commerce opposed the ban, and the Fort Collins Coloradoan editorialized against the measure.
Boulder and Lafayette were nothing more than symbolic votes. Lafayette’s last new well permit was in the early 1990’s and Boulder’s last oil and gas well was plugged in 1999.
This election represents round one with many more rounds to come. These elections mobilized community members to educate their neighbors, and our support of their efforts is just beginning. Coloradans overwhelmingly support ongoing oil and gas development. We will continue mobilizing and educating our neighbors on the safety and importance of our industry. We will continue to stand with the communities that support over 100,000 Colorado families who rely on the oil and gas industry for their livelihood.
We appreciate those who voted against the bans, those who mobilized to educate voters in their communities, and those who supported oil and gas families. We look forward to continuing the discussion around Colorado’s energy development.”
Broomfield, a “purple community,” voted for Barack Obama and Jared Polis in 2012 and Michael Bennet in 2010. Broomfield has tended to vote democratic but shown support for republican candidates.
During the last 10 years, Fort Collins has gone from a Republican to Democratic voter base. During the last seven years, nearly 60% of Fort Collins voters supported democratic candidates. Fortunately, a large number of Fort Collins residents said no to the proposed five-year energy ban.
Lafayette has a long history of being a democratic strong hold with approximately 70% of voters supporting Democratic candidates.
Colorado has a long history – more than 150 years – of oil and gas development and decades of experience with hydraulic fracturing, a critical step in resource extraction, which was developed more than 60 years ago. This scientific process has been engineered and improved by the best scientific minds in the industry. Ninety-five percent of all wells in Colorado have been hydraulically fractured.
There are more than 1 million wells fractured in the United States and there has been no evidence of water contamination from the process despite numerous studies.
Colorado has the most comprehensive set of groundwater samples with over 2,000 wells sampled in the San Juan Basin that demonstrate that hydraulic fracturing doesn’t contaminate groundwater.
Numerous officials in energy, environmental, and state departments indicate that hydraulic fracturing can be performed safely:
Energy Secretary, Ernist Moniz: “I still have not seen any evidence of fracking per se contaminating groundwater.”
Former Head of the EPA, Lisa Jackson: “It can and should be done safely. … I am not aware of any proven case where the fracking process itself has affected water.”
Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper: “You can’t harvest the mineral rights without doing hydraulic fracturing, which I think we’ve demonstrated again and again can be done safely.”
Numerous studies have been done to address concerns over water and air contamination. The US Department of Energy found no correlation between hydraulic fracturing and water contamination.
Recent data indicates that the US is emitting less CO2 than it has in 20 years thanks to burning more natural gas and less coal.