In the week since Western Wire first covered a Boulder Daily Camera letter to the editor that called for violence toward oil and natural gas workers, the list of those denouncing the letter and the newspaper for publishing it has grown to include local residents, a bipartisan spectrum of elected officials, media outlets, and industry representatives.
The Boulder, Colo.-based letter writer who called for “eliminating” oil and natural gas workers and told a media outlet that he “wouldn’t have a problem” with the murder of workers in the oil and natural gas industry now reportedly fears for his own safety and is asking for protection. “The anti-fracking activist from Boulder County who suggested blowing up wells and ‘eliminating’ energy workers is now asking for protection,” Denver TV news station 9News anchor Kyle Clark reported yesterday evening.
The author of a Boulder Daily Camera letter to the editor that called for violent attacks on oil and natural gas workers and facilities is standing by his controversial comments, telling one media outlet yesterday that he “wouldn’t have a problem” with the murder of industry workers. “I wouldn’t have a problem with a sniper shooting one of the workers” at a well site, Andrew J. O’Connor said in a phone interview with Colorado Politics. “I believe fracking is murder.”
In remarks delivered on the House floor this morning, an elected official in Colorado condemned a letter to the editor published in the Boulder Daily Camera that called for violent attacks on oil and natural gas workers and facilities. The executive editor of the newspaper defended the letter a few days ago by invoking President Trump’s justification for a military strike against Syria earlier this month.
At the “March for Science” in Denver on April 22, anti-fracking activists interrupted and drowned out Colo. Gov. John Hickenlooper’s (D) entreaties for more investment in research on climate change. While the governor addressed the crowd about funding climate change research, anti-fracking groups, including Food & Water Watch and 350 Colorado, shouted chants like “fracking kills,” and “Frackenlooper, don’t frack our future.”
The Center for Biological Diversity, a national environmental activist group, has filed a federal lawsuit claiming the Congressional Review Act (CRA) is unconstitutional and should be struck down. But the group – a leading member of the “keep it in the ground” coalition – used to support the same law it’s now trying to overturn in court. The CRA has been used repeatedly by Republicans in Congress and the Trump White House to repeal regulations issued by federal agencies in the final months of the Obama administration.
A newspaper in Boulder, Colo. published a letter to the editor this week calling for violent attacks on oil and natural gas workers and facilities. But instead of retracting the letter and issuing an apology, as other publications have done in similar cases, the newspaper let it stand with some minor edits. “If the oil and gas industry puts fracking wells in our neighborhoods, threatening our lives and our children’s lives, then don’t we have a moral responsibility to blow up wells and eliminate fracking and workers?” the author of the letter wrote in the Boulder Daily Camera on April 19.