Letter: It’s time to unify after the backroom fracking deal by Hick and Polis

Author: - August 29, 2014 - Updated: August 29, 2014

Dear Editor,

Thousands of Coloradans must stand together in light of the recent backroom deal cut by Governor John Hickenlooper and Congressman Jared Polis that short-circuited ballot measures that would have helped communities protect their health, safety and property from fracking. The only way to overcome this betrayal is to continue to build a unified, grassroots movement of moms and dads, business owners, and Coloradans from all walks of life. And within this movement, there is no place for the divisive attacks made by Thomas Linzey (guest column “Coloradans Deserve Better,” Statesman, 8/8/14). We invite all who want to protect their families and the future from fracking to rise above this unproductive finger pointing.

Different philosophies abound regarding the best way to halt the harms of fracking. Some communities have chosen moratoria, others have passed bans and still others have employed community rights measures. The strategies continue to evolve to meet the challenge. What connects these successes is that in every case hundreds of volunteers have collaborated in order to win against a colossal wave of advertising financed by an increasingly desperate oil and gas industry. Working together to fight for the changes we need is the only weapon we have against the over-funded oil and gas industry PR army.

Our grassroots movement’s goal is simple and clear: to protect families from fracking and to promote a sustainable energy future. This is an uphill battle that requires ongoing teamwork. And nothing makes the oil and gas giants happier than when someone from inside our movement publicly lambasts groups like Food & Water Watch that have been instrumental in the fight against fracking.

The battle to protect Longmont, Fort Collins, and other communities from fracking is far from over. Governor Hickenlooper will continue using state money to support lawsuits against his constituents wherever they push back against fracking, including communities like Lafayette, where a community rights charter amendment is being challenged by the Governor’s allies at the Colorado Oil and Gas Association. We support the right of each community to choose its own method of defense against this menace, and trust that there are valuable lessons to be learned from every community’s struggle.

Every major social movement that has fought for and won monumental societal victories — including women’s suffrage and civil rights — has employed eclectic strategies. Indeed, their success relied upon seeing these variations as strengths rather than as fodder for division.

A quote from Verlyn Klinkenborg sums up the approach we are taking to this fight: “Research, in nature’s laboratory, never stops. It explores every possibility. It never lacks funding. It is never demoralized by failed experiments.” Our fate is linked to how well we cooperate, not how much we compete against each other. We call on any Coloradan who wants to protect their community from fracking to become active with a unified effort rather than expending needed energy on one-size-fits-all prescriptions and divisive attacks. Dozens of groups are standing shoulder-to-shoulder on the front lines of the fracking battle. Join with us and we will win this fight.

Kaye Fissinger
President of Our Longmont

Dan Leftwich
MindDrive Legal Services, LLC

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