Vote for these Environmental Champions in Fort Collins!

The Fort Collins City Council election is around the corner. When it comes to protecting the water and air and preserving the quality of life in Fort Collins, the choices are clear. Clean Water Action has endorsed a group of environmental champions based on the candidates’ voting records and positions. Clean Water has endorsed:
  • Ward Luthi for Mayor
  • Nancy Tellez for District 2
  • Kristin Stepehns for District 4
  • Carl Wangsvick for District 6

Gene: Fracking Frontlines

Gene - Fracking FrontlinesHis name is Gene and he lives in Greeley.

This is his story:

There are four wells and twelve tanks proposed to be built within 360 feet of where I live. This isn't the right place to build that. I'm legally blind, and several of my neighbors are handicapped. Having an increase in traffic in the area will be hazardous to our health and mobility, not to mention the hazard to the children and high school students who live in the area. This project is located in the heart of a residential area with three sides bordered by houses. Constructing these wells would change the entire safety of the area for someone like me.

Learn more at Fracking Frontlines

Connie and Mel: Fracking Frontlines

Connie nd Mel - Fracking FrontlinesTheir names are Connie and Mel, they live in Windsor.

This is their story.

"They have not even considered the consequences of their actions on nearby residents, which will include the impact on our health, damage to our roads, dust, noise, polluting the air we breathe and the water we drink, not to mention a decline in our property values.

We live about two miles from another drilling site, and when our windows are open, we can hear the noise caused by the drilling and smell the emissions.

During burn-off, the formerly beautiful night sky is no is all lit up, causing an eerie sight. It is unimaginable what a drilling operation within 700 feet of my home would be!

Holding the Task Force Accountable

The Colorado Oil and Gas Task Force was appointed by Governor John Hickenlooper in August of 2014. The 21-member Task Force is comprised of an equal number of representatives from the oil and gas industry, the environmental and impacted communities, and a group of neutral experts. They are responsible for making a series of policy recommendations to the State Legislature concerning the surface impacts of oil and gas development and concerning other residential impacts.

Colorado Currents - Fall 2014

Colorado Currents

Fall 2014 Edition 

Blue Ribbon Oil and Gas Task Force Gets Underway

In August, Governor Hickenlooper announced the creation of the state commissioned Blue Ribbon Oil and Gas Task Force. The Task force is charged with making policy recommendations focused on state and local regulations of oil and gas operations. The task force is comprised of an equal number of representatives from affected communities, the environmental community, civic organizations, agriculture, and the oil and gas industry. The task force will make its policy recommendations in late February 2015.

The creation of the task force was the result of a compromise between two ballot initiative campaigns proposing both pro- and anti-oil and gas amendments to the Colorado constitution. Rep. Jared Polis was backing two of these initiatives. One would have given local governments more control over oil and gas development within their borders. The second initiative would have mandated a 2,000 foot setback rule — keeping drill sites at least 2,000 feet from homes. Additionally, the oil and gas industry was offering two ballot initiatives that would have taken local control away from municipalities and blocked communities attempting to regulate oil and gas operations from receiving oil and gas tax revenues. Read more 

Colorado Currents | Winter 2013

colorado currents
2013 Winter/Legislative Session Edition

Oil and Gas Drilling and Fracking

Clean Water Action has worked with local groups around the state to raise awareness of water dangers and other risks posed by oil and gas drilling and fracking. Together with local “fractivists” and municipalities, Clean Water Action helped win new fracking regulations and local moratorium measures, including those in Fort Collins and Boulder County. The Fort Collins moratorium is in effect through July 2013. The Boulder County moratorium expires this February, but will likely be extended to give the county time to update and strengthen its recently adopted fracking regulations. Helping additional communities exercise their rights for local control of drilling and fracking operations is a priority for the coming year.

“Setback” rules determining the distance allowed between drill sites and structures such as homes and schools were also hotly debated. Current state law allows drilling and fracking as close 350 feet in densely populated areas and 150 feet in rural areas. A state “setbacks stakeholder” group is recommending new drill site setback standards.

Communities along the Front Range are concerned about current standards and are looking to scientific studies to guide setbacks rulemaking. Clean Water Action supports a 2,000-foot minimum drill site setback in Colorado. Read more

Oil from rocks?

Oil shale deposits, Colorado.  Photo by Doc SearlsDo you believe in magic? Big Oil and their supporters hope so, as they advocate their latest domestic energy source: oil shale.

Oil shale is neither oil nor shale. This finely-grained sedimentary rock - more properly known as organic marlstone - is infused with kerogen, not oil. Kerogen is a dense blend of ancient algae and pond scum, and is an essential ingredient in oil and natural gas. But transforming kerogen to oil requires millennia, coupled with intense heat and crushing geologic pressure. Otherwise the kerogen remains a relatively energy-poor waxy deposit in sedimentary rocks, such as oil shale.

Michael and Noelle - Fracking Frontlines


Michael and Noelle live in Timnath. 

 Here is their story: 

"We moved our family here last year and by March, we found out that they were doing seismic testing. I - along with a group of concerned neighbors - began to wonder if hydraulic fracturing was being planned in our community. That March I attended a town meeting and asked the Mayor and town council for public hearings regarding the oil and gas activity. The Mayor said that the council was aware of the testing and assured me that there would be further discussion with residents of the town regarding any future development.

Rachel and Charles: Fracking Frontlines

Rachel and Charles live in Timnath.Charles and Rachel

This is their story:

"The activity of the fracking industry has impacted my entire family.

We have frequently noticed foul smells when we open our back door to go outside. When the rigs are going, the lights illuminate our entire back patio, our master bedroom, and the backside of our house. The light from flares burning also shine into our home when they are going at night. I can no longer sit on the back porch to enjoy the peace and quiet, all that I see or hear is a fracking rig.

Carl: Fracking Frontlines

Carl lives in Greeley.


This is his story:

"Nobody wants semis driving down your neighborhood street, but that's what we have here.

Our town has been completely changed by fracking. My neighbors have been displaced, my community has been turned upside down, and fracking wells have been built all over the place. This area has a lot of seniors, students, and handicapped individuals, and we've all been impacted. This is my home, and my neighbors and I deserve to have a say when our safety and quality of life is disrupted."

Learn more at

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