‘Keep It In The Ground’ Protestors Fail To Draw Much Of A Crowd Outside Democratic Senator’s Office
Representatives of a national “ban fracking” activist group attempted to organize a rally to pressure U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) on environmental policy but failed to draw much of a crowd.
The event, held outside Sen. Bennet’s Denver office yesterday, was organized by Food & Water Watch and 350.org, two East Coast activist groups campaigning to ban oil and natural gas development in Colorado and around the country. But Food & Water Watch Rocky Mountain Region Director Lauren Petrie said the purpose of the event was to protest proposed budget cuts at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
According to The Colorado Statesman, Food & Water Watch is 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.” For its part, 350.org is a New York-based activist group that runs a “keep it in the ground” campaign that seeks to ban the production of oil, natural gas and coal.
Just last week, Petrie admitted at a rally in Boulder that Food & Water Watch 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.”
Although yesterday’s event was originally billed as a rally, no more than 20 people showed up. Petrie tried to attribute the attendance to a decision to “scale back.” “I know this was kind of being promoted as a rally,” Petrie said, “but … we really wanted to make the focus on having the in-person demand for a meeting.”
Sen. Bennet has spoken out against local bans on hydraulic fracturing, endorsed the Keystone XL pipeline and helped introduce legislation supporting the export of liquefied natural gas. “Colorado has led the way in demonstrating we can produce natural gas safely and in a way that protects drinking water, reduces fugitive methane emissions, and safeguards nearby communities,” Bennet said last year.