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A Colorado anti-fracking group crashed Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper’s book event over his support of fracking in the state, ending in assault claims as well as a few citations.
The protestors, who call themselves the Colorado Community Rights Network, wreaked enough havoc to delay Hickenlooper’s scheduled speech by an hour, causing security guards and police to be brought in to calm the crowds before the event could continue.
Hickenlooper, a proponent of natural gas development, published his memoirs a month ago, titled The Opposite Of Woe: My Life In Beer And Politics. The memoirs briefly mention the oil sector, and state that based on experience and science, Hickenlooper “recognized that fracking was one of our very best and safest extraction techniques.”
Anti-frackers expressed outrage at the pro-fracking sentiment, shouting “No Fracking Way!” and carrying signs that read “Frackenlooper Overturns Democracy” at the book signing event, among a clearly pro-fracking and audience who was unimpressed with the disruption.
Colorado anti-fracking groups are trying to place anti-fracking measures on the state ballot in November, for which they only need 100,000 signatures by August. If it gets on the ballot, it could upset the balance of power, giving more power to municipalities to deal with fracking.
Colorado is but one state caught up in legal battles over fracking. Authorities in Vermont and New York have banned fracking.
The organization created to fight anti-oil and gas ballot measures in the state called “Protest Colorado” is said to have raised more than $6 million dollars in the first quarter of 2016. Anti-driller groups are also gathering signatures across the state, but have only managed to raise funds in the mere five-figure range.
Related: U.S. Shale Hurting: Largest Monthly Drop In More Than A Year
A new estimate from the U.S. Geological Survey finds that Colorado could actually hold 40 times more natural gas than previously expected. The so-called Mancos Shale formation holds an estimated 66.3 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of natural gas, sharply up from the 1.6 tcf in the previous 2003 estimate.
Last month, two Colorado municipalities have tried to ban hydraulic fracturing, but the state’s Supreme Court has had the final word, ruling that the two moratoriums on fracking were illegal, and that the state’s constitution offsets decisions made by local communities aimed at limiting hydraulic fracturing.
By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com
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Julianne Geiger is a veteran editor, writer and researcher for US-based Divergente LLC consulting firm, and a member of the Creative Professionals Networking Group.