It's important to let your legislators know what you think. Feel free to use the sample letters below or create your own. Click here for the contact information for legislators in Colorado, Colorado Springs and El Paso County. In these days of mass emails, a traditional letter (on paper and mailed with a stamp) makes an impact, as do telephone calls.
Sample letter #1:
We are very concerned about how fracking will affect Colorado Springs and El Paso County. We're proud to live in Colorado where there are beautiful mountains and plains, clean air and clean water. We don't want it ruined by oil and gas drilling.
Thousands of county residents and many city residents depend on wells for their drinking water. An accident could contaminate aquifers with fracking chemicals that cause cancer, birth defects and other serious health problems. A spill could contaminate surface water like Jimmy Camp Creek or Fountain Creek.
There have been more than 1,000 spills in Colorado since August 2009, or seven every five days, according to a recent article in the Denver Post. This year, more than 2 million gallons of diesel, oil, drilling wastewater and chemicals were spilled in Colorado. That is shameful.
Spills are only part of it. Holes in the well pipe, cracks in the concrete around it, faulty valves and employee mistakes have contaminated aquifers and surface water in Colorado.
Water is a precious resource in Colorado. How can we afford to have millions of gallons of water wasted by fracking?
We are also concerned about air pollution. We don't want to breathe hydrogen sulfide, benzene, ethylbenzene or other harmful gases. This September there was hydrogen sulfide gas at near-fatal levels on Western Slope drilling sites. We don't want our air to smell like it does in Rifle or Silt, Colorado.
Tourists won't want to visit where there's toxic contamination like in Weld, Garfield and other Colorado counties. We don't want hundreds of tanker trucks adding to traffic and ruining our roads.
Hundreds of complaints by Colorado residents have been made to the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission. We can't pretend problems won't happen here too.
We're depending on you to protect us. Any temporary economic gain isn't worth the serious long-term problems this will cause our community.
Sample letter #2:
Here are some of the questions relating to hydrofracking that I would hope could be addressed during a moratorium:
1. The health impacts resulting from air and water contamination. Some reports indicate air contamination is at least as big a health threat as water contamination.
2. An analysis of epidemilogical data on property owners near a drilling site and on workers involved in the process. It is a relatively new industry as far as large scale use so there may not be good long term studies yet of large groups.
3. What would be the effect on the EDC's ability to attract business and young professionals if El Paso county looks like Garfield county?
4. A drilling rig operates at about 100 decibels. More than a few people move to the county to live in a quieter environment. If gas production started the compressors used to ship the gas operate at close to 100 decibels. I believe the ambient noise level near the proposed sites will be around 40 to 45 decibels and will try and get some base level data. High volumes of non natural sounds have negative impacts on the breeding succcess of bird populations. Chico Basin Ranch to the south of one the proposed sites has had 300 species of bird, 200 species of wild flowers and 60 species of grasses identified on its property.
5. Recently the New York Times published an article indicating oil and gas leases signed by landowners may invalidate agreements because of the impact of decreasing property values near a drilling site. They may also violate rules by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and affect title insurance and home insurance policies. Several states are looking into this issue at the moment.
6. In the quest for jobs we should look at the cost benefit impact of high paying jobs with a large infrastructure component and lower paying jobs with a much lower infrastructure component.
7. Ultra Resources indicated they are in a rush. What is the rush? Is it to the benefit of the more than 500,000 stakeholders in the city and county to rush into this without fully understanding the short and long term implications?
8. I am somewhat familiar with the 1872 Subsurface Mining Act but hope we could hire some additional outside legal expertise to help guide the efforts to mitigate the negative health and environmental impacts which may result.
I hope you will consider a meeting with Wes Wilson the former EPA scientist who became a whistleblower when he realized the implications of Dick Cheney exempting the oil and gas industry from the Clean Water Act and Theo Colburn the respected Endocrinoligst who has specifically focused on this issue during her retirement.
Thank you for listening, I know you already have a full plate but this is a very important issue. Let me know if there is any way I can help.
How fracking is harmful
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