Where is the Light at the End of the Tunnel?
Nine Months, Many Wins
Every week I’m out working with our amazing neighbors fighting hard to help protect our health and safety. We aren’t paid, we aren’t fracktivists, and we aren’t eco-terrorists. We are residents of the community. We’re educators, business professionals, nurses, engineers, and tradesmen. We’re concerned for our families, our future, and our property.
Occasionally I do run into some of you that are discouraged. It’s easy to not see the wins when our proposed bills aren’t making it through the state Senate, or our moratoriums are being voted down. This is a marathon, and it’s much more drawn out than any of us ever expected. That said, we do have the benefit of time. If we can maintain our resolve, a long process does not hurt us. We’re going to fight for our health and safety, and that fight never ends.
Just last July 2016, most of us had no idea how horizontal drilling worked. We had never heard of mineral rights. Pads were what we used when playing sports. We certainly had no idea that only a month prior, the Broomfield City Council and Extraction were at an open meeting moving forward on oil and gas initiatives that would change our lives.
But look how far we’ve come in nine months:
- We’re educated – We have teams of scientists, medical professionals, oil and gas industry experts, lawyers, realtors, geologists, and others helping us understand every facet of this project
- We’re mobilized – More than a thousand people showed up at the December city council meeting. Think about that in terms of the size of our county. That’s amazing. We’ve got people attending state government meetings every week. There is always someone doing something to protect our families.
- We’ve come together – The burden is no longer on a few individual people or neighborhoods to fight to protect us. We now have neighbors working together from a dozen communities and all of the wards throughout Broomfield.
- We are not alone – We are supporting, and have the support of, other communities throughout the state that are in a similar situation. We’re stronger together.
- We’re represented – We have congressmen introducing bills on our behalf. We are working with the League of Oil and Gas Impacted Coloradoans. We’re on the national radar.
- We have growing City and County Of Broomfield (CCOB) support – We have a CCOB task force working on our behalf. We have city council members speaking on our behalf at statewide meetings.
- We’re slowing the process – Through multiple spacing application protests and negotiations for voluntary delays, we’ve been able to slow the process down to give our researchers and politicians time
- We’re communicating – Every day, more and more people become aware of the situation through social media and word of mouth. That’s all because of your engagement in education and conversation.
- We’re at the table – We have an open dialogue with city council members, state representatives, the leadership at the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, and Extraction Oil and Gas
- We’re making progress – Nine months ago, Extraction was going to do whatever they wanted. Trucks with no pipelines, minimal air quality testing, no special considerations for the Lowell pad – these were all realistic outcomes. Now, even if the project were to go forward today, we are significantly more protected then we were even then.
- We’re making a difference – No how matter where we go from here, it is certain that our families are already safer as a result of the work we’ve already done and the work we have yet to do
I don’t know where this is going to end up. None of us do. It’s an ever-changing situation and a process that could continue for the next few years. We have to address each issue as it arises. This requires all of us. Every letter that we write, every time we show up to speak (or even sit in solidarity in the audience), and every time we communicate on Nextdoor, or knock on a door, or speak with our neighbors, it truly makes a difference. Don’t lose hope because there’s no simple solution. This is our community and we need you. If we continue to stick together, if we continue to grow our support, if we continue to spread the effort, we will make strides toward a safer, healthier Broomfield.
Bill Young, Wildgrass