Colorado’s oil and gas industry is taking desperate steps to ensure that the 112 ballot initiative does not pass.
The only argument put forward by the industry is that the 112 poll initiative will negatively affect Colorado’s economy. Part of the reason is that the oil and gas industry cannot deny the explosions, spills, health hazards or deaths that have occurred at the expense of expanding oil and gas development. . This shows that the only real thing that matters to the industry is money, and while it is true that money is a necessity for families, a plethora of other expenses are not taken. into account in the equation. Fracking has a negative impact on the economy each of us depends so heavily on through many externalities that are not always obvious to the untrained eye. Let us talk about water, not only as one of the essential elements of life, but rather as an economic good. the language of industry. Take Greeley and County Weld, for example, which are home to over 24,000 oil and gas wells. Greeley is a community known for its water rights, for its spectacular agricultural roots, and it was recently nominated for “Best Tap Water to Taste the Country”. Why then, in a community with “the tastiest tap water”, do people care about water? With rights to the Poudre, Laramie, Big Thompson and Colorado rivers, our drinking water should be the best. Even so, one need only take a stroll along the Powder Trail to see that the industry is even starting to make its way near our own water supply. Two million to 8 million gallons of water are used to smash a single well. So what’s the problem when farming also uses millions of gallons of water per day? The difference is that on average 5-10 different chemicals are used in the injection process, benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylene to name a few. Once this water is used, it becomes contaminated and not drinkable. The industry, of course, proclaims that its workers are also “environmentalists” and that fracking wastewater is filtered and then recycled. What the industry fails to mention is that water is only recycled so that it can be reused for further oil and gas expansion, and it can only be “recycled” a few times. I have yet to meet a single worker in the industry who is ready to drink the recycled by-product. If voters see water as an economic good, it becomes clear that the oil and gas industry is the biggest competition in the agricultural market. Basically everyone gets their water from the same well. The industry has notoriously offered compensation to farmers for the use of their land and mineral rights, but how long can this monetary compensation contribute to a farmer’s output in times of water scarcity? Colorado is an arid desert, already prone to droughts, and fracking continues to further deplete the agricultural resources on which this community was built. Even though our own community is protected from these contaminants, what about the people living downstream from this promised land of oil and gas? When the well dries up and our children are thirsty, I guess we can say to them, “We had their best interests at heart. “– Megan Meyer supports Proposition 112 and is the Founder of UNCO Earth Guardians, a graduate student in Environmental Policy and Management at the University of Denver.