Energy

Activists Losing Ground, Allies In Their Crusade To Turn This Energy State Green

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Chris White Tech Reporter

Anti-Fossil fuel activists in Colorado are continuing their “keep it in the ground” campaign despite the state’s liberal elite making moves to incorporate natural gas as the state’s energy of choice.

A fight is brewing inside the Centennial State as anti-fracking activists and political candidates on the left face off against natural gas supporting Democrats, such as Governor John Hickenlooper, who recently published a new memoir that champions fracking.

The state’s other Democrats are doing their level best to stay quite and avoid the wrath of environmentalists.

“Based on experience and science, I recognized that fracking was one of our very best and safest extraction techniques,” Hickenlooper wrote in his memoir titled The Opposite Of Woe: My Life In Beer And Politics. 

Along with praising the shale gas revolution, the state’s liberal governor’s book also ventured a guess as to why activists are so animated against natural gas.

In the modern era, he added, it is “often bloggers wedded to a particular agenda who led the charge, cherry-picking some shreds of truth, or untruths, to make popular but inaccurate stories” about fracking, as well as other forms of energy development. Hickenlooper made similar comments at a panel discussion in April, telling fellow panelists that activists and “Keep It In The Ground” types are a “small minority” and “not an accurate representation of the people of Colorado.”

The governor’s pro-fracking positions have no doubt stoked a type of natural gas development revolution in the state.

The oil production in Hickenlooper’s state tipped dramatically upward from 2004 to 2014, as Colorado’s natural gas output leaped by 51 percent during that period of time, according to data compiled by the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Things only got worse for anti-fracking activists, when on May 3, Colorado’s Supreme Court decided to allow state law to supersede that of local ordinances on hydraulic fracturing, all but ending the ability for a city in the state to declare moratoriums on natural gas development.

Environmentalists decided they weren’t going to take the hits lying down, so they decided to orchestrate a massive rally in opposition to fracking.

The rally was attended by environmentalist Bill McKibben in mid-May, which surprisingly managed to repel state legislators once allied with the anti-fracking movement. Break Free 2016, the group that initially hosted McKibben and his motley crew, boasted in media accounts prior to the event their intention of bringing more than 1,000 people to the event.

The supposedly historically large rally attracted less than 100 people.

Randy Hildreth, the Colorado director for Energy In Depth, told the Daily Caller News Foundation that support for natural gas development has spiked, which is one of the reasons “why activists pushing a ban-fracking platform have been failing to draw large crowds to their events or support from Colorado’s top Democrat elected officials who know that energy bans are a losing proposition for the state.”

One long-time supporter of McKibben’s goals, Democratic Rep. Jared Polis, skipped out on the rally, leaving his former ally in the lurch.

Polis has a history touting anti-oil sentiments in the past, telling anti-fracking activists at a rally in 2011 that groups with vested interests are using “misleading rhetoric” to trick people into supporting fossil fuels. “That’s why your efforts today are so important,” Polis said.

But in order to win reelection November, Polis must first defeat local Boulder County activist Cliff Willmeng, a strident opponent of natural gas energy and self-proclaimed socialist. Boulder County attempted to ban outright fracking within its ordinance before the statewide ban on fracking moratoriums was initiated.

Willmeng has accused both Hickenlooper and Polis of being hacks for the fossil fuel industry, writing in an April editorial that “the Colorado legislature acts as the calcified political wing of big business and industry,” and maneuvers by people like Polis and the governor are just a way of currying favor for the fossil fuel industry.

And of course there is always liberal billionaire activist Tom Steyer, who, according to media accounts, is making a huge push this election year to turn Colorado green. He shoved more than $109,000 into polling services in March and April to gear up for this year’s state elections, according to data from the Federal Election Commission.

“He’s getting into the granular kind of research that could be used in different races up and down the ballot, including the state legislature and congressional seats,” political analyst Floyd Ciruli said in an interview with reporters. “If you’ve heard of the Blueprint, this could be the Greenprint,” Ciruli added

Blueprint was an agenda created by wealthy activists ten years ago to turn Colorado’s General Assembly into a liberal bastion.

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