The second emergency meeting in 10 days was held by Boulder County Protectors in Lafayette on Thursday, May 11 to talk about how to stop fracking from coming to Boulder County. KGNU’s Roz Brown says nearly 100 people packed the meeting at the East Simpson Coffee shop to hear from Cliff Willmeng with East Boulder County United.
Since the Boulder County Commissioners allowed a moratorium on oil and gas drilling in Boulder County to expire on May 1, local groups have held protests and meetings to figure out how to fight back. Two attendees new to Lafayette and Erie said they came to learn more about how they might be affected by fracking from oil and gas companies and what they can do to protect themselves and their children.
Since lifting the moratorium the County Commissioners will now need to review its first application in five years from Crestone Peak Resources to drill 216 wells on 12 acres in east Boulder county.
Willmeng says he moved to Colorado from Chicago in 2009 hoping to raise his children in a healthy environment but when he got here saw a news story on June 2, 2012 that showed hundreds of mothers in Erie protesting against a proposal to build eight wells next to the local elementary school.
“The longer these capitalist models continue the more likely you are to find yourself in conflict with environmental hazards,” said Willmeng. He says the group will continue informational meetings as long as necessary to educate local residents about the threat of fracking and the complexities that mandate the threat.
“Normal people don’t assume oil and gas companies are coming to drill in Boulder County and they are, and we have no right to say ‘no’ to them. With these sessions we try to establish the basis of the problem because we want people’s actions to be informed by the truth. Once people realize the system is not working for them, we move onto additional trainings including grassroots organizing and non-violent civil disobedience.”
Willmeng says neither major environmental groups nor state legislators want to tackle the systemic problem of fracking.
“You can negotiate the terms by which you are poisoned, but you cannot say ‘no’ to poisoning to begin with and we say that’s a non-starter. If elected officials advocate obedience to a system or a political party or leadership that mandates the poisoning of their citizens they no longer meet the qualifications for any democratically elected, responsible official, and we ask them to resign. They should side on the right side of history, join the people, reject state law and stop trying to tell people these regulations are going to keep us safe.”
To find out more about East Boulder County United and Boulder County Protectors: www.facebook.com/EastBoulderCountyUnited.