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 Colorado citizens, 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.
A funny thing happened on the way to the shale revolution – an outbreak of democracy that will send tremors through the oil and gas industry and its political backers.
Voters in three elections in three different cities (Boulder, Ft. Collins and Lafayette), located on the voter-rich Front Range of Colorado, followed the city of Longmont’s lead and decisively passed bans or moratoria on fracking or drilling. A fourth election in Broomfield is still too close to call.
We all know the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission already has and will continue to have a dramatic effect on our elections. Even if we don’t follow politics but live in any swing state, we know the effect well: more political ads, more vitriol, more mud and negativity, less disclosure, accountability, and honesty. Citizens United tells us that corporations are people and money is speech.