DEAR EDITOR:

Three cheers to our three county commissioners for taking a very courageous and compassionate step toward holding some of the Big Oil companies responsible for knowingly causing and increasing climate change at the expense of all living beings.

In a smaller, but hugely important step for Colorado, I am asking all regional voters to sign a statewide ballot initiative that proposes to increase the buffer zone between a fracking well and any occupied structure or other sensitive area (waterways, playgrounds, etc.) from the current 500 feet requirement to 2,500 feet. This half mile setback is recommended by a long list of scientific studies. Fracking at close range puts people’s — especially young people’s — health at great risk. 

I know, fracking seems far away and not an urgent issue in San Miguel County, our kids are not at immediate risk of asthma, increased incidences of cancer and strange skin rashes, constant exposure to noise, glaring lights at night, and highly toxic fumes — but we all share the same scary changes to our planet’s climate. Methane escapes from all fracking wells (there are 50,000 active and more than 20,000 abandoned wells in Colorado!); it is a very powerful greenhouse gas, much more so than CO2. 

So, whether you want to show your empathy for the highly impacted people on the Front Range or because you believe that climate change needs to be kept in check, please sign the ballot initiative. Signature gatherers will be working Main Street and the Farmers’ Market, the festivals and other events. Take a minute, make Colorado a better place!

Detailed information on health and safety risks, a map of all fracking wells in Colorado and more can be found at https://corising.org/.  Especially here in sunny and often windy Colorado, we do have safe, economical alternatives to oil and gas.

Thank you,

Elisabeth Gick

Telluride and Boulder