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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
Do 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.
If you live in the Denver metro area, shouldn’t you have a say when it comes to deciding if and how drilling and fracking occurs near the rivers and reservoirs that supply your drinking water?