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Fracking bans: Industry cash raised to fight them tops $600,000


"They are deeply out of touch with ordinary Coloradans who want to protect their health, safety and property from fracking," Schabacker says.

"The oil and gas industry is trying to intimidate voters by spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to buy this election," adds Laura Fronckieweicz, campaign manager for the pro-moratorium group Our Broomfield.

tisha.schuller.screen.capture.jpg
Tisha Schuller.
"Our approach to regulation is not to stand and fight, but to engage, and to engage politically in a nonpartisan way," COGA president Tisha Schuller told me when I interviewed her a few months ago for our cover story "The Insider." The trade organization has been particularly involved in trying to keep local governments from following Longmont's lead and seeking an outright ban on fracking -- and clearly, if you're trying to get your opponents' attention, few tools are as engaging as a check with six or more digits in it.

But Ray Martinez, the former Fort Collins mayor who's heading up the Fort Collins Alliance for Reliable Energy, says it would be wrong to characterize the opposition to the moratorium as simply industry-driven. "There's definitely local opposition," he insists. "That's the reason I started this. The Chamber of Commerce is opposing this. The city council voted against it. I've talked to many people in the business community who oppose it."

Martinez suggests it's a difficult climate for any kind of political contributions right now -- but his group isn't exactly hurting for cash due to COGA's largesse.

Similarly, Rick Fernandez, a founding member of It's Our Broomfield, Too!, describes the core of his group as longtime Broomfield residents who have a different perspective on energy development than Fronckieweicz and some of the other relative newcomers to town who are key backers of the moratorium.

"I've lived in Broomfield for forty years," says Fernandez, who works for a telecom software company. "To suggest our group got started by COGA is not accurate. We asked COGA to get involved because we knew this was going to be an uphill educational battle."

More from our Environment archive: "Oil and gas industry poised to outspend fracktivists 30-1 on Boulder moratorium."



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13 comments
Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

If someone tried to ban your business, you'd spend money fighting it too.

Oh, forgot. It's easier to criticize business than to do business.

Doug Hubka
Doug Hubka

Shouldn't even be a question. Of course they are trying to buy the election. That is the way things work these days. The public wants one thing, business interests buy their way into getting what they want.

Steve Holmberg
Steve Holmberg

How many wells are still leaking after the floods? Does the public even know?

Benjamin Bradburn
Benjamin Bradburn

Is be fine with cracking if there was adequate regulation. Having a moratorium makes sense. I think this is a rhetorical question?

Natasha Schwertley
Natasha Schwertley

Of course. Their bottom line is money. They don't need to care about human life or impacts to the environment or local economies when everyone moves to escape the effects on their drinking water and air. Sadly, it appears their "safe" lies work. Guess some think the profits of these companies are more important than their own personal health. Oh, except they probably don't live near a fracking site, so they don't have to care about those impacts. Just an issue for people they'll never likely meet. God bless America, right?

Scott Ingalsbe
Scott Ingalsbe

Fracking is here to stay. Hippies need to realize that.

Josh Moore
Josh Moore

I hope they do! All these environmentalist, alarmist left wing nut bags are what is ruining this earth. Not Fracking.

Kevin A. Mahmalji
Kevin A. Mahmalji

In all honesty, they can probably put away the cash and just rely on their buddy, Governor Hickenlooper. What a joke!

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