Anti-Fracking Activists ‘Meditate The Frack Out Of Boulder’ To Protest End Of Drilling Moratorium
The expiration today of the latest iteration of a five-year-old moratorium on oil and natural gas development in Boulder, Colo., prompted a meditation protest by anti-fracking activists outside the Boulder County Courthouse.
“The regulations proposed by the Boulder County Commissioners will not be enough to provide protection from the dangers of fracking,” read the description for an event outside the courthouse on Pearl Street. “What do we plan to do? We will Meditate the Frack Out of Boulder by raising awareness and inspiring collective action to put the government and the oil and gas industry on notice!”
“Bring gas masks, if you own one, to symbolically highlight the impact of fracking on our health,” wrote Boulder EcoDharma Sangha, an event organizer. “We will provide small paper masks.”
Originally imposed in February 2012, Boulder’s moratorium on oil and natural gas development was last extended in December 2016. Boulder faces a pending lawsuit from Colorado Attorney Cynthia Coffman, who wrote in a court filing that the county’s “open defiance of state law has made legal action the final recourse available.” The new regulations the county adopted last month for drilling and production may also be challenged in court, as the Times-Call reported.
Today’s protests at the courthouse drew activists representing several anti-fracking groups seeking a ban on fracking.
“We’re here,” Suzanne Spiegel said at the rally, “because Boulder County commissioners are leaving us in a position where we’re not protected from fracking,” speaker Suzanne Spiegel told fellow protesters at a courthouse rally, according to an account in the Times-Call.
Spiegel is a member of event organizer Frack Free Colorado, an affiliate of Food & Water Watch, which has sought to block oil and natural gas development in the state.
“Show up to this rally as we hold them accountable for their lack of action and demand that they protect Boulder County by using our public funds (tax dollars) to fund legal protection against fracking!” read a Facebook description of the event sponsored by Frack Free Colorado.
The Colorado Statesman describes that group’s parent organization, Food & Water Watch, as one of the “major players behind the anti-fracking movement” that “played a key role in supporting initiatives to ban or delay fracking in local communities” in Colorado as part of its campaign to “ban fracking everywhere.”
Just two months ago, in front of the same courthouse, Food & Water Watch Rocky Mountain Region Director Lauren Petrie admitted that has her group has “been working at the local level with many partners … to pass bans and moratoriums on fracking across the state,” and that “the fight is not over until we ban fracking everywhere.”