Mountain States

Facing Censure from Prominent Democrats, Ban-Fracking Activists Petition DNC, Stage “Die In” at Reno BLM Auction

With just about every prominent Democrat from Governor John Hickenlooper (D-CO) to Governor Jerry Brown (D-CA) to even President Obama, rebuking the ban-fracking, “Keep-It-In-The-Ground” (KIITG) movement, activists have resorted to some pretty extreme tactics to get attention.

Today, KIITG is descending on the Democratic National Committee hearing in Phoenix to ask for the party to include a ban on fracking in its party platform.  As Politico reports: “Expect a lot of pressure today on the DNC platform committee to “keep it in the ground” — or stop all fossil-fuel leases on public lands.” The very fact that they have to petition their own party, which has already soundly rejected their views, goes to show how extreme the KIITG movement truly is.

But all you have to do is look around at the protests KIITG is holding to see that they are way out of the mainstream.  For instance, this week, extreme activist groups behind the push took their roadshow to Reno, Nevada, where they staged a “die in” or a “human oil spill” and wreaked havoc on the hotel where a Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lease auction was taking place. As The Daily Caller reports:

“An anti-hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, protester was arrested after leading dozens of other greens on an extremely disruptive rampage through a Reno hotel to protest a Bureau of Land Management auction.”

Source: This Is Reno

Their antics captured in the video also include loudly yelling at law enforcement officials while using an array of props and signs that frequently show up at their rallies.

The Reno protest follows similar events in Colorado, Ohio, Utah and elsewhere. In fact, things have gotten so bad, that the BLM planned for the disruption at their Reno lease auction. As Chris Rose with BLM tells KUNR:

“We actually planned for potential disruptions based on past sales and things that have happened in other states, so when the protest occurred we went to our plan B and moved the bidders and BLM staff to an alternative room and conducted the sale there,” he explained. “If, like in the past, if the protestors had come in and observed the sale and not been disruptive, we would’ve conducted the sale with public viewing.”

The Reno protest is just the latest sign of the extreme tactics these groups are turning to. Some of the same activists present in Reno were involved in an incident last year where media reports revealed that they “staged” getting hit by an SUV during an anti-fossil fuels demonstration at a BLM office in Lakewood, Colorado. Even more recently, activists descended on Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper’s book presentation in Boulder, Colorado, shouting slogans and unfurling a banner in an attempt to shut down the event. Audience members were not very impressed with the group’s extreme tactics to disrupt the event. From the Boulder Daily Camera:

“Two themes emerged among the remaining audience members: Nearly everyone expressed that they found the protesters’ behavior disrespectful — not only of the governor, but of the audience members.

“Counterproductive,” “Ripped off,” “You’re hurting your cause,” “Acting like 10-year-old kids,” and “We have rights too” were sentiments held in common. (emphasis added)

KIITG is certainly facing an uphill battle.  As EID has pointed out many times, many of our nation’s leading Democrats not only support fracking, but extol the process as the “very best and safest extraction technique.”

President Obama has touted natural gas development as a job creator and way to cut emissions multiple times, even mentioning it in his State of the Union.

Gov. John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.) – a geologist with a professional understanding of the fracking process —  has pointed to the increased use of natural as the “only realistic way” to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

Gov. Jerry Brown (D-Calif.) – one of the leading climate change activists of the past 40 years — has said that a ban on fracking “doesn’t make a lot of sense”, noting that the process uses much less water than activists claim and that a ban would increase California’s reliance on foreign oil.

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has even developed a factsheet, that explains the climate benefits of natural gas.

In addition, Secretary Clinton’s campaign advisor John Podesta said, during a roundtable discussion on climate change at the White House, that opposing all fossil fuels is “completely impractical

“Asked about the criticism, Podesta spoke generally, saying the country would benefit if more power plants relied on gas.

‘So I think we remain committed to developing the resource and using it, and we think there’s an advantage, particularly in the electricity generation sector, to move it forward,” he said.”

If the “Keep It in the Ground” movement were truly focused on lowering global greenhouse gas emissions, they would actually advocate for fracking and natural gas development, not against. Authentic local concerned citizens understand this.  That’s why elected officials, statewide groups, local stakeholders and even our nation’s most prominent Democrats continue to speak out in opposition to this radical and misguided campaign.



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