Dear Representative Polis:
We watched in horror as you blatantly hijacked Colorado’s democratic process, by throwing out nearly 300,000 signatures for statewide initiatives 88 and 89 that you yourself said were “sensible regulations on fracking.” You represent a district where five communities passed local initiatives that voted “yes” to moratoria and bans on fracking, yet you failed to represent those constituents, your constituents.
In the Colorado constitution, it states that all political power is vested in the people. Though our political process has largely been usurped by money and party rule, you the politicians forget that “We the people” are the party. You work for us and we have spoken. What you and the Democratic Party have done in this state is hijack our democratic process.
In less than six week’s time, we made it clear that we expect our right to “clean air, pure water and natural and scenic values” to be represented in the Colorado Constitution. And we expect that our local governments are there to protect us. By withdrawing these initiatives, you also withdrew the voice of Coloradans.
You have said, in essence, that 'we the people' should not have the right to protect our communities from fracking. You, left us naked and unarmed to protect ourselves from what, by default, are non-sensible regulations which violate rights to safety. In Colorado we have 52,000 active oil and gas wells, 74,000 abandoned wells, 13 inspectors, 500 spills a year. That’s two a day now, Jared.
Your actions prove that we not only have an environmental crisis, but also a democracy crisis. We are not bargaining chips in some sort of game of Chicken with the Democratic Party and Governor Hickenlooper. We demand that you carry out the intent of the people who signed these initiatives in good faith. We demand you allow us to submit them if you will not. The democratic process is not yours to steal. It, like Colorado’s environment, is the common property of all Coloradans.
Protecting the health and welfare of Coloradans from the harms of the fracking industry should never be a poker game. These are real people’s lives at stake.