Daily Camera (Boulder)
Don’t let it get too close
The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission has one job: protect living things from the harmful effects of oil and gas drilling. And yet it can’t manage to keep fracking away from us. This time, it has failed to require a safe distance between fracking and our communities, and even provided a loophole to let oil and gas companies in.
The dangers of fracking include toxic emissions and contaminated air, water, and soil, which bring long-term health impacts, and seismic activity.
These effects only become more severe the closer fracking sites are to humans and wildlife, so the sensible thing to do is push fracking as far away as possible.
Let’s say you and I are enemies. If you had proof that I could throw a rotten tomato over my back fence, it would be stupid of you to stand anywhere in my back yard, or even at my fence line.
In fact, even though the only unit of measurement provided is the fence, you still wouldn’t stand directly behind it, you’d take a precaution and stand a little ways back. Just because you can’t see beyond the fence at the moment doesn’t mean the rotten tomato isn’t sailing far into the next yard.
Why is the COGCC making us stand at the fence line?
There is no room for doubt. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has studied impacts of fracking up to a distance of 2,000 feet. At 2,000 feet, it found negative health effects on humans and wildlife.
The COGCC’S setback requirement for fracking sites? Two thousand feet. It’s not far enough to keep us safe. Please, tell the COGCC that no sensible person would stand at the distance proven to be unsafe, and we need a clear setback, no loopholes, at least 2,500 feet back.
KATIE ORTON Longmont