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FRACKING IS SPREADING IN COLORADO
There are approximately 45,000 active oil and gas wells in Colorado. That number is projected to increase to 60,000 with drilling along the Front Range from Colorado Springs north to the Wyoming state line. Industry officials say they expect drilling to continue at least at its current pace of 3,000 new wells a year. Aurora, Monument, Longmont, Boulder, Ft. Collins and other cities are confronted with it and far more Coloradans live in these areas than on the Western Slope.
Drilling is also on the Roan Plateau, in White River National Forest and Mesa-Uncompahgre-Gunnison National Forest. The Bureau of Land Management is offering oil and gas leases in the North Fork Valley of The Gunnison. There's a proposal to drill in St. Vrain State Park near Longmont. Boulder County officials confirm that oil and gas companies are preparing to drill on seven open spaces. Where will it stop?
"Colorado citizens are justifiably worried about the practice of fracking and deserve full confidence that the state is protecting the quality of their air, water and soil," said Josh Joswick, former La Plata County commissioner.
Community activists on Colorado's Western Slope who've been living with the effects of a major natural gas boom since 2002 say residents are right to get organized.
"It is the same method of operation and the rules have all these backdoor loopholes and aren't going to protect anybody. Any delusion that they will is going to be costly in the end and so people are right to be freaking out. It's important that they start educating themselves and organizing and trying to get the best practices in place," said Lisa Bracken, who has been battling the state and gas giant EnCana on her property in Garfield County since 2004.
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