By now, the public-health dangers of gas fracking are well known. Drilling companies pump chemicals like benzene and methane into the ground to loosen rock and get at deep gas reserves – and thanks to the Bush administration, aren’t required to tell the public exactly what chemicals they’re using, even though it seems increasingly likely that those chemicals wind up in our drinking water.
Colorado is second only to Texas in the amount of fracking fluid pumped into its ground between 2005 and 2009. Fortunately, Governor John Hickenlooper – a former petroleum-exploration geologist – wants to do something about its dangerous secrecy. He’s urging the state’s oil and gas commission to require oil and gas companies to disclose what they’re putting into our ground.
This is the right move for our environment, which does not need more fossil fuel damage. It’s the right move for public health, which requires clean water. It’s the right move for democracy, since we have a right as citizens to know what risks we’re undertaking when our government issues drilling permits. And it’s the right move for the economy, as it protects tourism, Colorado’s second largest industry. It's not enough - fracking should ultimately be banned - but it's a good first step.
Tell the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission: Stand with Governor Hickenlooper and the people of Colorado, and give fracking fluids the proper regulation and transparency they require.
Picture credit: Tenmile Range near Leadville, Colorado, courtesy Wikipedia.