The Denver Business Journal's Cathy Proctor reports on a new pro-oil industry advocacy group, Coloradans for Responsible Energy Development, and their "long-term" plan to win Colorado residents' hearts and minds over on the issue of hydraulic fracture drilling, or "fracking," in their neighborhoods:
The state’s newest oil and gas advocacy group, Coloradans for Responsible Energy Development (CRED) is planning for the long haul: A multi-year campaign to inform the public about the industry, its practices and how its products are used — and about fracking.
That’s according to spokespersons for Anadarko Petroleum Corp. (NYSE: APC) and Noble Energy Inc. (NYSE: NBL), the state’s two biggest oil and gas companies, which are backing the new organization.
Or, put another way, CRED (website here) is not a flash in the pan that will disappear after the Nov. 5 election…
“This is a multi-year effort and we have a long road ahead — irrespective of what happens in [the elections in] 2013, or 2014 or 2015,” said Robin Olsen, a Denver-based spokeswoman for Anadarko, which employs about 1,300 people in the state.
Whatever CRED's long-term agenda may be, as of this writing they are principally concerned with defeating a group of moratoriums (and one outright ban) on the practice of "fracking" with the city limits of several, mostly residential Front Range communities. Here's a CRED mailer we were forwarded yesterday, which was sent to a Democratic household in Boulder. In Boulder, Question 2H would extend an existing moratorium on "fracking" to five years. Their "positive" message gets points for cleverness even as it deceives:
What a lovely photo, presumably of a Colorado mountain ridge–we haven't conclusively identified it just yet. A high alpine forest occupies the valley below the ridgeline, and wildflowers abound above timberline on the opposing ridge that supplied the vantage point for this photo.
The problem, if you think about this for more than a few passing seconds, is that nobody's drilling here.
Like we said, we're not sure where the first mountain photo is located. As for the one you can see above, used on the back of the mailer, that looks to us like the San Juan Mountains as viewed from a place called American Basin–please correct us on this if we're wrong, readers. American Basin is located in the Handie's Peak Wilderness Study Area, and has been off-limits to oil extraction for decades. We don't even think there's any oil up there, but even if there was, nobody has ever drilled for it.
To help us illustrate our point, here's a photo of what you might encounter flying over an area of Colorado that is actually subject to oil and gas drilling. Via the Colorado Independent:
We could find more such photos–no doubt our readers have some–but you get the idea. Colorado is a beautiful place, with beautiful high mountains and pristine wilderness areas. It is also a place scarred in many locations by oil and gas drilling. Everybody knows that, including the voters the above mailer was sent to who are weighing a moratorium on "fracking" in the city limits of Boulder.
And they know their homes are not in the wilderness.