Mountain States

National ‘Ban Fracking’ Groups in Disarray in Colorado

In an interesting display of activist infighting, a recent guest column printed in the Colorado Statesman chastises both Congressman Jared Polis (D-Colo.) and Food & Water Watch for their decisions to pull anti-fracking initiatives from the November ballot.

Penned by Thomas Alan Linzey, chief counsel of the Pennsylvania-based Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF), the column charges:

“Well that didn’t take long. For all of the grandiose political statements about supporting Colorado communities that have banned oil and gas drilling, the whole house of cards fell overnight.”

The column comes in the wake of “a week of dashed hopes for grassroots groups,” as described in the Fort Collins Coloradoan. As their statewide influence continues to wane, national anti-fracking groups have been at odds with each other over how to move forward with their agenda, suggesting their self-described “movement” to shut down energy production in Colorado is coming apart at the seams.

CELDF is best known for backing anti-fracking initiatives and activist organizations in other energy producing states such as Ohio and Illinois. While the organization has not been visibly active in Colorado, the placement of this column may be a sign that they are seeking to add their name to the list of out-of state activist organizations that have a presence in Colorado.

While Colorado is no stranger to national ban-fracking activist organizations, it remains to be seen how one more chef in the kitchen could possibly help them achieve their desired outcome. However, in a final salvo, Linzey affirms CELDF’s commitment to waging an anti-fracking campaign in Colorado, all while getting in a final dig at his fellow national activist organizations:

“Thus, oil and gas corporations have bought themselves a free ride until 2016, which is the next time that such initiatives can be placed on the statewide ballot. It was a good investment, as they were able to buy it so cheaply, with the help of a Democratic Party on the run and environmental organizations unwilling to challenge the status quo.”

Despite CELDF’s protest, we know that both Congressman Polis and Food & Water Watch remain committed to their anti-fracking efforts.

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