DEAR EDITOR:  

With important midterm elections just around the corner, I would like to take this opportunity to get some information to voters about the much discussed and maligned Proposition 112, “Safer Setbacks from Fracking.”

The oil and gas industry is spending enormous amounts of money trying to convince voters that a “yes” vote on Prop 112 would equal a ban on fracking.

Not true at all. Prop 112 proposes to increase the required buffer zone between oil and gas operations and homes and schools, water sources and playgrounds from 500 or 1,000 feet to 2,500 feet. Prop 112, however, does not restrict how far the drillers can go horizontally once they are underground. One to two miles of horizontal fracturing is common; more than 10 miles is now technically possible.

The oil and gas industry also wants voters to believe that they are a major force in our economy. Not true either. Renewable energy sectors, as well as the tourist industry, are way more important to Colorado’s economy. Which would you rather have in your neighborhood? A hiking trail or a fracking well? More rooftop solar or a refinery?

Next, oil and gas drillers want to convince you, the voter, that fracking poses no threat to either your health or your safety. That’s a lie. In 2017 alone, more than a dozen serious fires and explosions have occurred at oil and gas drilling sites in Colorado, including the tragic home explosion in Firestone that resulted in the death of two men and a mother being severely burned. In addition to these incidents, over 1,000 complaints were filed in Colorado within a single year addressing issues, including contaminated water, an inability to sleep or work due to noxious fumes and extremely loud noise,  and headaches, nosebleeds, asthma and other grave health impacts.

Our air, our water, our kids’ future are at stake. If you still have any doubt how to vote on Prop 112 please do take a look at the number of active and abandoned wells here: corising.org/colorado-map-oil-gas-wells/

This industry has gone with minimal regulation for far too long. Please vote, and vote YES on proposition 112!

Elisabeth Gick

Telluride