Initiative 97 has been accepted onto the fall election ballot as Proposition 112, requiring all new Colorado oil and gas development not on federal land to be located at least 2500 feet from an occupied structure or vulnerable area. Currently, state law allows fracking operations to be within 500 feet of homes.
Already, the industry is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on promoting a no vote on the ballot in November. Citizens need to realize that existing laws regarding fracking are dangerous to the health, safety, and welfare of every man, woman, and child. We need to support this common-sense regulation, providing safer setbacks.
We have experienced several recent and local incidents: the Firestone deadly methane explosion, the Windsor well fire, the Boulder study of air pollutants near the reservoir. Each of these, as well as many others, palpably demonstrate the deadly threats to society. Living in such close proximity to oil and gas development is clearly a death sentence, if not immediately, then certainly in the future.
Fracking is an inherently dangerous industrial process because there is an unacceptable risk of explosions and fires. Since the Firestone explosion, for example, Colorado has experienced at least 14 fires and explosions at oil and gas sites.
There are already nearly 129,000 oil/gas flow lines within 1,000 feet of occupied buildings, so to add thousands more is foolhardy, given that there have been 832 serious pipeline incidents in the U.S. in the past 20 years, causing 310 deaths and 1,229 serious injuries. In addition, pipelines can rupture, leading to fatal explosions like the one in Mead, which killed one worker and seriously injured three others in 2014.
Please vote yes for Proposition 112.
Tom Stumpf, Longmont