The Colorado Oil and Gas Association (COGA) demonstrated this week that it really has not changed its approach to its neighbors on the Front Range of Colorado. COGA said that it had filed lawsuits against two of the cities that voted to restrict fracking and waste disposal within city limits and a different pro-fracking group filed a suit against a third city's election division.
Trying to put a positive spin on this bare-knuckled attack on the results of a democratic election, the COGA president said it was only trying to protect these misguided cities from “extremists” who had “lured” 60% of the citizenry into committing this “illegal” act.
Really? Spending nearly a million dollars to influence voters, as industry did, sounds more like an illegal act than citizens exercising their democratic rights does.
There had been some public statements recently that the industry in Colorado was going to focus on actually engaging citizens in dialogue, having perhaps recognized that fracking was its political “Achilles heel”.
Unfortunately, this action demonstrates that the industry remains solidly committed to its scorched earth strategy of attacking anybody and anything that questions its ability to access every single square inch of earth – even if that inch is in your backyard or school playground.
But then, remember, this is the industry whose lobbyists have said that citizens who vote to limit drilling within city limits are “professional agitators” bent on “manipulating people’s responses”.
This is also the industry that would not share thousands of water test results with scientists trying to address the issue of why methane was increasingly being found in people’s water wells.
And this is the industry that has attacked the professional reputation and job security of scientists who simply publish the results of what their scientific inquiry shows – when those results show that drilling for oil or gas has negative environmental consequences.
The unfortunate truth is that nothing has really changed with this industry. Actions, after all, speak louder than words.