Mountain States

Anti-Fracking Groups Relaunch Costly Campaign in Colorado After Years of Failure

Last week, Coloradans Resisting Extreme Energy Development (CREED) announced a series of ballot initiatives targeting the oil and natural gas industry – including a statewide ban on hydraulic fracturing. CREED’s candidness – that it is seeking a ban on fracking, and by extension oil and gas development in Colorado – is new and refreshing, in a way. Previous ban efforts by CREED and others were cloaked as simply calls for more regulation and greater “local control.” Most Colorado residents were able to see through the deception, and thus “ban fracking” initiatives in Colorado – run by national organizations with a national agenda – have been repeatedly rejected by Colorado politicians, local elected officials, and voters across the political spectrum.

As we saw in 2012 and 2014, “ban fracking” activist groups operating in Colorado frequently attempted to downplay their real agenda – fighting for statewide and national oil and gas bans – by rebranding themselves as “local control” advocates. The activists even told the Denver Post:

This isn’t about banning fracking, it is about giving communities the ability to put some controls on development.” (emphasis added)

Notably, millionaire Boulder Congressman Jared Polis claimed that two anti-energy ballot measures he pushed during the last election cycle were meant to “ensure the continued growth and development of the energy industry.” But as EID has pointed out again and again and again, these activist groups were compelled to disguise their objectives because their “ban fracking” agenda is just too extreme for Colorado.

This time around, the activists have finally disclosed that their agenda is, in fact, to ban fracking in Colorado. In announcing the ballot initiatives, a CREED spokesperson said, “Our beautiful state should not be overwhelmed by wells, pads, and other industrial oil and gas operations…” The Colorado Statesman reports that “CREED says it will be moving forward with ballot questions” that include “an outright fracking ban statewide” (emphasis added). And a CREED Facebook post implores supporters to “[p]lease donate to support the new CREED 2013 [sic] ballot initiatives to protect Colorado communities from fracking.”


As EID has previously explained, CREED is the latest “Colorado” incarnation of Food & Water Watch’s national “ban fracking” campaign, which The Colorado Statesman has described as one of the “major players behind the anti-fracking movement” that has “played a key role in supporting initiatives to ban or delay fracking in local communities.” In 2012, Food & Water Watch declared Erie as “ground zero” for the group’s national campaign to ban fracking. In 2014, Food & Water Watch was a key player in the creation of Frack Free ColoradoProtect Our Colorado and Local Control Colorado as part of its attempts to put a local face on its national political campaign against U.S. energy development.

The latest ballot initiative drive is part of a much broader advocacy effort, marked by increasingly desperate tactics ranging from lobbying Denver officials with signatures from New Zealand and Canada, to protesting drilling in areas where there is no drilling, to roping high-school students into waving signs at a protest.

The campaign in Colorado, however, has largely failed to attract much support. Last month, the activists failed to show up when the eyes of the country were trained on Colorado for the Republican presidential debate in Boulder – when even the New York Times reported that “anti-fracking activists are organizing a march that they hope will draw thousands of people.” This came after an activist group was forced to cancel an anti-fracking rally earlier this year when just one person RSVPed. Unsurprisingly, the Denver Post wrote an editorial titled “Denver should ignore fractivists.”

According to recent surveys, a majority of Coloradans overwhelmingly supports oil and gas development. A recent poll commissioned by the American Petroleum Institute and the Colorado Petroleum Council found that, in Colorado, 95 percent of Republicans, 84 percent of Independents, and 69 percent of Democrats consider “producing more oil and natural gas here in the U.S.” important to them.

The officials elected by Coloradans agree: Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper (D) called previous anti-energy ballot initiatives “extreme measures that would drive oil and gas out of Colorado” and “kill jobs and damage our state’s economy.”

These “ban fracking” campaigns have been similarly rejected and dismissed by environmentalists and regulators all over the country. For example, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell has called fracking bans “the wrong way to go.” Former White House advisor John Podesta – who is now the chair of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign – called fracking bans “completely impractical.” Even California Gov. Jerry Brown (D), who is considered a hero to the environmental movement and who has clashed many times with the oil and gas industry throughout his long political career, has said that anti-fracking activists “don’t know what the hell they’re talking about.”

At the end of the day, even though these groups have gone through several wardrobe changes, there is no hiding from the fact that the fracking bans they are peddling threaten working familiesjeopardize the state economy, and ultimately are not welcome in Colorado.

  • Anti-Fracking Groups Relaunch Costly Campaign in Colorado After Years of Failure - Wild Well Entertainment
    Posted at 04:46h, 29 December Reply

    […] Anti-Fracking Groups Relaunch Costly Campaign in Colorado After Years of Failure […]

  • John
    Posted at 16:48h, 29 December Reply

    If banning fracking is so far fetched then why do you feel the need to organize so much energy and time and media outreach to try and silence them? Your hypocrisy is apparent. I hope you go broke trying to defend your toxic BS.

  • Colorado State Attorneys Have Big Questions for “Ban Fracking” Ballot Proposal Backers
    Posted at 18:24h, 06 January Reply

    […] reckless agenda of ban-fracking activists who are proposing a series of ballot initiatives targeting Colorado energy development was on display at a hearing at the state capitol in Denver […]

  • Gary
    Posted at 13:38h, 12 January Reply

    The Anti-Fracking people need to give up or taken away from them tooth brushes, cell phones, computers,IPads, shoes, clothing, cars,hair dryers,light bulbs,electricity,water utility, videos,DVD,music other than their whistle from their own lips, televisions camera,cameras,bicycles,calculators,solar panels,wind turbines,ethanol development,furniture,beds,sleeping bags,pillows,blankets, food other that killing their own,books,toilets, toilet paper,boats, trains, ships,airplanes and national security since this is all provided to them from hydrocarbons fuels. Without hydrocarbons they could not even protest because their signs were created from hydrocarbon fuels. Get a Brain !!!?’:@##$%!

    • Choral
      Posted at 17:34h, 10 January Reply

      The world needs some hydrocarbons for chemicals, but we don’t need the water and air pollution that frackers bring us. No one needs the climate change that all fossil fuels invariably provide.

  • Rep. Polis Hints at Backing “Radical” and “Extreme Measures that Would Drive Oil and Gas Out of Colorado”
    Posted at 21:47h, 27 January Reply

    […] activist organizations backing a slate of ballot initiatives to ban fracking in Colorado may be rekindling a partnership with an old ally. Millionaire Boulder […]

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    Posted at 09:16h, 09 June Reply

    […] in the “Keep-It-In-The-Ground” movement are trying to stop, as they continue seeking to ban fracking in Colorado and across the nation. Fortunately, Coloradoans have largely rejected this out-of-state fringe […]

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