This land is OUR land.
This morning, I got a little teary.
Back story: I had just forwarded a letter to all my Colorado Springs friends about what is going on with fracking in our county (see below–after Rebekah’s letter). I didn’t get to it right away and I was feeling a little rushed and a little guilty for not acting sooner. I tried to let myself off the hook a little by saying, hey girl, you have two jobs, a family to take care of, but I wasn’t buying it. Some things are important. This was one of them.
So I sent out the e-mail and then did something I should have done long ago but didn’t. I finally watched Gasland in its entirety. Not just the first 30 minutes, which is where I stopped last time, but all of it. If you haven’t watched this important, life-changing, multi-award winning film, you need to, NOW. Yes, I know how it is. I have watched a lot of documentaries on the environment this year and I think exactly what most of you are thinking: “I know it’s important, but I don’t want to watch . . . now. It’s more bad news! It’s gonna hurt. I’ll watch it . . . later. . . soon.”
Yes, it does hurt a little. Hard truths are . . . hard. But it hurts more if you don’t know the truth. Knowledge is power–but I don’t need to tell you that.
How about this? It’s your patriotic duty! If you don’t live in an area where there is fracking–or, the threat of it–it’s still important that you know about it. These are our people, and this is our country, our land, and some very bad things are going down. This subject concerns every single American. It matters not where you live, or your political affiliation, or age, or any of that.
So I sent the forward this morning, with my own plea for action, and within an hour got this back from Rebekah Shardy. She’s a new friend (and the author of an amazing fiction story that will appear in Greenwoman Issue #4). I was touched by her fast action and the beauty of her letter.
Please join us in learning about what is going on and working to change things for the better. Every little bit ultimately helps a whole heck of a lot.
* * *
Dear Council of the City of Colorado Springs:
I have lived in Colorado Springs for 29 years, arriving with my husband and newborn child in 1983. I have held responsible positions for local companies, paid taxes, served the Pikes Peak Library and other important non-profit civic ventures, donated to charity, received awards for volunteering and from the Pikes Peak Arts Council, and have worked the past five years as Manager of Volunteers for Odyssey Hospice.
No matter how challenging social or economic circumstances have been in nearly three decades, one thing never changed, and that has kept me in Colorado Springs, and many like me. That is the divine gift of natural beauty here. Gifts, however, are tricky things: you dare not take them for granted, as they are not a right, not an entitlement, but a boon. We can turn out to not deserve certain gifts, to spurn or abuse them – gifts like our healthy and attractive environment – and lose them forever.
I came here from Akron, Ohio. Not far from my town extensive fracking led to a surprise earthquake from a surprising area of the country that never knew one. Sure, the financial interests behind it will deny it with the best scientific reports that money can buy. Liars figure, and figures lie. But common sense tells you that you cannot destabilize the ground we stand on in a concerted, deliberate and unnatural manner and not reap dire consequences.
I have become friends with Native Americans in Colorado. From their point of view, fracking is a violent assault on Mother Earth to bleed her. We cannot take what we cannot replace without a bankruptcy of safety and security sooner or later; problems such as contaminated ground water and instability will be the beginning of woes far larger than gas prices.
True and right leadership looks at the long picture, not the excitement of short-term gains. Wisdom cares about the whole; it is overdue, the time to consider the planet that serves us, and to serve its healthy constitution so we may both thrive.
* * *
And, the original letter from Laurel Beidermann, CS Citizens for Community Rights
Things are getting serious here in the Springs. The City Council is voting (11/27) on a set of “regulations” for oil and gas in our city which were, for all intensive purposes, “co-authored” by the oil and gas commission. Can you say “conflict of interest”?
These regs include; Voluntary water sampling!, Voluntary air sampling!, and No “teeth” or repercussions for contamination! Because, remember, under The Halliburton Loophole, oil and gas is NOT liable for groundwater contamination. No other industry would be allowed to back up to a hole in the ground and dump toxic chemicals into it. Why is our State and Federal government allowing this industry to do something that no other industry is allowed to do? $$$$$$ Money, Money, Money!
You might not think this affects you but it does and it will.
Your health, the health of your children, and your grandchildren is at stake here.
Fracking is not just something “way out East at Banning Lewis Ranch”. Once oil and gas is in, they are IN and it’s coming this way! The next areas being looked at are Flying Horse Ranch, Spring Creek, UCCS campus, and many other areas around town that meet the acreage criteria.
You probably do not own the sub surface mineral rights below your property (only a tiny % of landowners do) and the well pads for these giant rigs only have to be 350 feet from your from your front door. Watch a trailer for Split Estate on You Tube to see the realities of this situation.
Remember that each of these wells DESTROYS 5 million gallons of water per frack. This water, laced with toxic and cancer causing chemicals, is unusable for any living thing once it comes out. Where do they dump it? Where is it stored? Where is “away” when they (oil and gas) take it “away”? These are important questions to ask.
Ultra Resources, the company that was given a permit for at Banning Lewis Ranch for two pads (which can include up to 40 wells on this site) , had over 200 violations in the last FIVE years! Now, they will be coming to OUR town. There are currently 48,000 active wells in Colorado and 1000′s more are coming. There are only 13 inspectors now for the entire state and, by their own records, 67% of the wells never were looked at in 2011 (the last time they published a report and, at that time, they had 17 inspectors)! More wells are being drilled every day but number of inspectors is going down.
Did you know that a Suncor drilling operation is currently leaking benzene contaminated water into the South Platte at a rate of 3000 gallons PER MINUTE? It’s been leaking since February 2011 (yes, that says 11, not 12) and, while this is leaking, Suncor and Denver Metro are squabbling over who will clean it up.
This isn’t an isolated incident. Water resources around our State are being threatened by this filthy and pathetically regulated industry.
Please show your support for anti-fracking by attending some or all of the following important events to become educated on the subject. And please help spread the word. For those of you that say “it’s hopeless and a done deal”, have faith!
The City of Longmont’s YES ON 300 passed last Tuesday, miraculously (against all odds and a million dollars worth of opposition from oil and gas), and we can accomplish a similar goal here in the Springs with increased support from our community.
Our air quality, soil quality, views, and our safe and abundant drinking water is at stake.
Write an email to city council at firstname.lastname@example.org to let them know how you feel about this important issue.
*November 14th – Armstrong Hall at C.C. – Josh Fox speaking (Director of Gasland) – 7:00 p.m. FREE (I changed the date–it did read 6 p.m.)
*November 27th – City Hall Council Meeting – Voting on regulations – Noon (rally on the corner) and 1:00 p.m. City Council Meeting – FREE
*December 8th – Armstrong Hall #300-Max Kade Theatre – The Truth about Fracking Film Fest 1-5 p.m. FREE
*January 8th – Wes Wilson (EPA “whistleblower” featured in the Gasland movie) and Phil Doe, of Be The Change, Presentation on Fracking – 6:30 p.m. at
Old Town Bike Shop -Trying to get standing room only at this one! Please come!!! It’s FREE!
* * *
Again–NOW the time to watch Gasland. It’s available almost everywhere: Netflix, Blockbuster, your library, Amazon. Make some popcorn, get some nice, good Colorado tap water, and check it out.