Pro-Fracking Group Kills Push for a New National Park
I’ve been to the Colorado National Monument and yes, it is breathtaking and worthy of national park status:
A more than century-old effort to transform the breathtaking Colorado National Monument into a full-fledged national park has been thwarted by a pro-fracking organization called Friends of the Colorado National Monument (FCNM).
And while the group sounds harmless enough, and professes to include hikers, bikers, ranchers, outdoor enthusiasts, and conservationists, its website includes little more than complaints about EPA air and water regulations, and the inability of the oil and gas industry to drill in national parks and the surrounding areas.
FCNM lead a petition fight against changing the monument’s status while decrying what they call “frackophobia.” The also complained that fracking is over-regulated and bemoaned the protests and legal proceedings that have taken place in Colorado in recent years. In fact, says Colorado has become “protest central when it comes to opposition to energy development.”
Democratic Senator Mark Udall and GOP Congressman Scott Tipton, both up for reelection in November, had backed the plan to change the monument to a national park in Congress. Udall says that residents seem evenly split on the plan. But after receiving a 2,500 signature petition against the plan from FCNM, Tipton backed down. Moreover, the Republican Congressman now says that he will actively oppose any plans for changing the monument into a park. Tipton now says he’s worried on how it will impact the local economy and he’s concerned over “executive-branch rulemaking,” referring to the Republican Party’s fight against President Obama using the power of executive orders.
Udall also withdrew his support for the effort, saying that there needed to be more of a consensus among Colorado residents. However, he said that he is only withdrawing for the short term, and hopes to address this question again in the future.
Udall’s facing an election in November so like a chickenshit, he’s trying to play both sides of the fence. The fracking issue is very contentious here in Colorado. Longmont, a town up the road from me, voted to ban fracking in the town limits but the governor (a Democrat) has joined with the oil companies and is suing the city to have the will of the people overturned. It’s getting real nasty around here.