Mountain States

Colorado Governor’s Memoir Extols Fracking as “Very Best and Safest Extraction Technique”

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper (D) has just released a new memoir, which puts the spotlight on his strong support for fracking and natural gas.  As he says in the memoir,

Based on experience and science, I recognized that fracking was one of our very best and safest extraction techniques. Fracking is good for the country’s energy supply, our national security, our economy, and our environment.” (pg. 277)

In the book, Hickenlooper explains his path starting off as a geologist and eventually being elected as governor. And as part of the story, he makes it very clear why he supports the use of hydraulic fracturing, even with a constant influx of out-of-state activists campaigning to ban the process. Hickenlooper writes:

“Early critics of mine were right about this much: my background as an oil and gas geologist did influence my perspective. I understand the evolution of hydraulic fracturing. I knew that the innovations in technology, everything from the hydraulic fracking systems to the fluid, had become so advanced that it was a remarkably safe extraction method.” (pg. 276; emphasis added)

Hickenlooper also addresses what he believes is fueling anti-fracking activism:

“It seemed to me at the time that the way some media and activists were going after fracking was reminiscent of the early twentieth century, when the media skewered the oil and gas industry, personified by John D. Rockefeller. Only in our era, it was often bloggers wedded to a particular agenda who led the charge, cherry-picking some shreds of truth, or untruths, to make popular but inaccurate stories.” (Pg. 279; emphasis added)

Hickenlooper’s memoir is getting lots of state and national media attention just as the divide between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton on fracking in the Democratic primary grows. For instance, Sanders recently appointed co-founder and “Keep-It-In-The-Ground” activist Bill McKibben to a key Democratic Party platform position.  In the middle of all this, Hickenlooper, the governor of a key swing state, has come out with a clear repudiation of the anti-fracking, “Keep-It-In-The-Ground” platform.

The Governor has long-been an advocate for Colorado’s energy producers, calling ballot measures targeting oil and natural gas development “radical” and “extreme” because they would “drive oil and gas out of Colorado.” More recently, Hickenlooper took an apparent swipe at the “Keep-It-In-The Ground” movement in his comments at a Colorado Petroleum Council luncheon. As the Denver Business Journal Reports:

“We won’t transform the energy supplies of our nation overnight; there’s been rapid growth in solar and wind, but we’re a long way from saying we can walk away from hydrocarbons and not do significant damage to our economy,” Hickenlooper said.

“The number of people in Colorado who want to ban hydrocarbons is probably a small minority,” he said.

Hickenlooper’s new memoir puts a national spotlight on his support for fracking and is sure to come as more bad news for national activist groups that are struggling to build momentum for their campaign to ban-fracking in Colorado and across the nation.


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