Wednesday, April 23, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Oil, gas drilling rile West’s energy embrace

By
From page B8 | January 06, 2013 | 1 Comment

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — This used to be a land proud of its oil barons. Now the energy industry that has brought wealth and jobs across the interior West is prompting angry protests by citizens sporting gas masks and using bullhorns at public hearings.

A generation after the fictional oil tycoons of the TV soap “Dynasty” gave Denver’s oil and gas industry a glamorous sheen, the Rocky Mountain region appears to be questioning its romance with the industry. New drilling technology has moved oil and gas production from the sparsely populated plains, where oil rigs are embraced as job creators, closer to cities and suburbs. Now, conflicts are increasing along the populous eastern fringe of the Rockies.

Gas-mask-wearing protesters are confronting city and county officials considering whether to limit or ban hydraulic fracturing, a drilling procedure in which water, sand and chemicals are forced deep underground to pry oil and gas from rock. Fracking, as the procedure is called, has led to an energy boom in areas previously unattractive to energy producers, but it is also raising concerns about air and water quality.

The protests in Colorado have gotten intense. At hearings across the state, shouting opponents harass oil and gas representatives. Even Colorado’s governor, a Democrat and former geologist who says fracking is safe, has been mobbed by protesters. Leaving a suburban Denver meeting about drilling earlier this fall, Gov. John Hickenlooper ducked into an SUV and pulled away as a crowd of protesters, some of them children, chanted, “Dirty water, dirty air, we get sick and you don’t care!”

Opposition to fracking has also surfaced in Idaho, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has probed whether the procedure may be responsible for groundwater contamination near the Wyoming town of Pavillion. State officials and others have disputed that claim.

The West’s anti-fracking movement hit a watershed moment in a Denver suburb in this year’s elections. Longmont, a town of about 85,000 located 30 miles from Denver, voted overwhelmingly to buck state law and prohibit fracking in the city, setting up a legal showdown over whether individual communities can challenge the powerful Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission, which regulates the industry statewide.

The vote inspired other fracking opponents from Fort Collins to Colorado Springs — and underscores the energy industry’s challenge as it looks to expand into new production areas.

“It’s the classic case … of where you stand depends on where you sit,” said David Kennedy, head of the Bill Lane Center for the American West at Stanford University. “The historic battle in the West has been the cities and the farmers. Now it’s the cities, farmers and the frackers, all battling for water.”

The battle is one fracking opponents say they can win, despite a legacy of pro-drilling policies across the state and region.

“We’re an oil and gas state. We know that. We’re going up against a huge industry,” said Neshama Abraham, a freelance writer in Boulder who has helped lead fracking opposition in her county. “This is tremendously dangerous technology that is at our front door.”

The “fracktivists” are making noise even in heavily Republican areas. At a recent city council meeting in Colorado Springs, fracking protesters waved signs warning of environmental destruction while passing drivers honked their support. “You can’t drink oil,” read one poster.

“I think Longmont gave people hope that it is possible to take on this industry,” said Laurel Biedermann, a fracking skeptic in Colorado Springs. “We don’t have to bend over and be a doormat for this industry.”

The Colorado Springs council has postponed a final vote on drilling regulations. In Fort Collins, city officials put a six-month moratorium on fracking after a public hearing in which residents sought the delay.

Fracking proponent Justin Williams, owner of Colorado-based Lone Star Energy, argued at the Colorado Springs council meeting that cities are foolish to try to stop the procedure. Fracking is necessary, he said, because of the nation’s energy appetite.

“This demand is unquenchable. If we don’t produce it here, it’ll be done in countries employing 15-year-olds to do it,” Williams said.

Another drilling supporter decried what he calls a “mob mentality” by anti-fracking activists. Former Colorado Springs councilman Sean Paige, now with Colorado’s chapter of the right-leaning Americans For Prosperity, said he’s disheartened by the new intense tone from opponents. Paige wrote a letter to Colorado governor’s calling for more civility after recent boisterous protests.

“There’s more conflict,” he said, “than ever before.”

The dispute will soon shift to the Colorado Capitol, where lawmakers have tried and failed to ease drilling disputes.

During the last legislative session that ended in May, the fracking debate broke down completely. Some Democrats proposed bills to add new environmental requirements for the industry, or to give towns more say over drilling regulations. Republicans countered with proposals that would have stripped any town that banned the drilling procedure of certain tax benefits.

Ultimately Colorado’s Democratic Senate and Republican House agreed on nothing related to drilling.

The session that begins next month could be different. With both chambers under Democratic control, fracking limits are likely to be debated again.

“People don’t want an industrial process going right across their fence,” said Rep. Max Tyler, a Democrat from Denver’s western suburbs who will lead a House committee likely to consider drilling regulations next year. “We’ll definitely be talking about this.”

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 1 comment

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • LanzJanuary 14, 2013 - 4:45 am

    Thanks for your post! It really helps me a lot in doing my research about the drilling industry. If you have more articles, please don't hesitate to post. It will greatly help.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

 
Delta barriers no longer needed

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1

 
Supervisors voice concern on state Delta plans

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Dental clinic coming Friday, Saturday

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A3, 5 Comments

 
Rotarians talk about running clinic to help Haitians

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Fairfield-Suisun Sewer District eyes new auditor

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A4

 
County honors Purple Heart recipients

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A6

 
Solano recognizes 1,300-strong volunteer corps

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A6

 
Garamendi to host open house at Fairfield office

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A7

 
Highway 12 night work scheduled in Delta

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A7

 
Kids fishing derby in Fairfield is part of Earth Day

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A7

 
County approves Icon agreements

By Barry Eberling | From Page: B9

Ceremony set to break ground for Suisun City Walmart

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B9, 24 Comments | Gallery

 
Dutch Bros. opening with free drinks

By Barry Eberling | From Page: B9, 11 Comments

 
Museum readies to host Sallie Fox Day in Vacaville

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A10, 1 Comment

Golf tournament to raise funds for children

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A10, 1 Comment

 
Mustangs and More event moved back to October

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A10

Rotary club to host clay shooting derby

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A11

 
Ghost Walk returns to Suisun City

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A11

Penalty decision looms in Winters homicide case

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A11

 
NAMI talk on reducing mental health stigma

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A11

 
.

US / World

In Internet TV case, justices show concern

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Michigan affirmative ban is OK, Supreme Court says

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

GOP candidate releases education policy overview

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

 
‘Piles and piles’ of bodies in S. Sudan slaughter

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

FedEx sued over deadly California bus crash

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14, 1 Comment

 
Obama views mudslide scene, mourns with survivors

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

Analysis: Putin likely to ignore West on Ukraine

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

 
Biden: Russia must ‘stop talking and start acting’

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

Most Sherpas decide to leave Everest for season

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

 
Grieving borrowers told to repay student loan

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

Jet stowaway at hospital; security issues linger

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

 
SKorea ferry toll hits 146 as search gets tougher

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

Ukraine orders new ‘anti-terror’ operation

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

 
In Ukraine’s east, mayor held hostage by insurgent

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

Acts of bravery emerge from pilloried ship crew

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

 
IRS awards bonuses to 1,100 who owe back taxes

By The Associated Press | From Page: A15, 4 Comments

.

Opinion

 
Editorial cartoons for April 23, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A13

 

Groundwater becomes next big California fight

By Thomas Elias | From Page: A13

 
Fairfield’s main problem is the mayor

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A13, 7 Comments

.

Living

Solving and resolving life’s problems

By Barton Goldsmith | From Page: A2

 
Today in History for April 23, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Community Calendar: April 23, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
 
A healthy take on the very not healthy Scotch egg

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

Horoscopes for April 23, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B7

 
How can I get my 12-year-old grandson to sleep in his own bed?

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B7

.

Entertainment

DeGeneres making design series for HGTV

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Discovery to chronicle Everest avalanche

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

Bieber seeks delay in Fla. DUI trial

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Bon Jovi helps open low-income housing in Philly

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9, 1 Comment

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

 
.

Sports

5 Fairfield runners finish Boston Marathon

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1

 
Sharks beat Kings 4-3 in OT, take 3-0 series lead

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Prep swimming update: Postseason looms on horizon

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
SCC softball ends regular season with 29 straight wins

By Brian Arnold | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Warriors’ Curry eager to erase Game 2 nightmare

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Spurs’ Popovich wins NBA Coach of the Year

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Raiders begin offseason workouts

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
David Moyes out as Manchester United manager

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Seahawks acquire QB Terrelle Pryor

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
NFL playoff game to air on ESPN for 1st time

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

MLB suspends 4 after Brewers-Pirates brawl

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Djokovic: Wrist better, will try to play in Madrid

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Armstrong coach Bruyneel banned for 10 years

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Pujols’ 500th HR helps Angels beat Nationals 7-2

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Rangers rally for two runs in ninth to beat A’s

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Beverly Hanson, forgotten pioneer in women’s golf

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Tech boom presents new wrinkles for Wrigley Field

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Warriors announce new plans for SF arena

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Kentucky freshman Julius Randle to enter NBA draft

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
AP Source: N.Y. Giants’ Hill facing 3rd suspension

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

NBA Playoffs: Raptors even series with Nets

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
.

Business

Novartis reshapes business with GSK, Lilly deals

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

 
McDonald’s 1Q profit slips as US sales decline

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

AT&T had strong 1Q on wireless installment plans

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

 
Valeant, Ackman make $45.6B Allergan bid

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

.

Obituaries

Richard P. Horn

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Kyong Hee Maxwell

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Norma O’Regan

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
Anne Irene Elizabeth Fulgoni

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 3 Comments

.

Comics

B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Wizard Of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7