As of April 27, 2017, the individual from Boulder, Colorado, who authored a letter advocating for the “elimination” of oil and natural gas workers and made controversial statements indicating a lack of concern for the potential murder of industry workers, is now expressing concerns for his own safety.
This anti-fracking activist has reportedly requested protection, as detailed by Denver TV news station 9News anchor Kyle Clark in a recent report.
“I called him because yesterday we reported that the Secretary of State’s office wanted extra security for his anti-fracking ballot measure hearing coming up because of his comments about bombing wells and ‘eliminating’ workers,” Clark reported last night. “Well, we found out that (he) is now asking that his hearing be held by telephone, saying that he fears for his own safety.”
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Andrew J. O’Connor penned a letter to the editor, published in the Daily Camera on April 19, urging Coloradans to resort to violence against oil and natural gas workers and facilities.
He questioned whether, in the face of the oil and gas industry placing fracking wells in residential areas and posing threats to lives, there is a moral obligation to take action by “blowing up wells and eliminating fracking and workers.” Although the letter was edited the next day, it still asserts that employing violence against the oil and gas industry would be an “intelligent” course of action for Colorado residents.
O’Connor’s statements have prompted heightened security measures at state meetings related to oil and natural gas development, including an upcoming session discussing a ballot measure he is advocating that would double state taxes on oil and natural gas production.
In response to these security measures, O’Connor, in an interview with 9News on Tuesday, criticized the Secretary of State, calling them “ridiculous drama queens.”
However, when 9News contacted O’Connor again, especially after he previously mentioned to Colorado Politics that he “wouldn’t have a problem with a sniper shooting one of the workers” at a well site, O’Connor expressed a desire for the hearing to take place over the phone due to concerns about his safety.
“When I asked O’Connor on the phone if he really condoned assassinating oil and gas workers, he hung up,” Clark added.
In a previous segment, 9News interviewed O’Connor and conveyed his explanation that when he mentioned “eliminating workers,” he intended it to mean putting them out of work rather than causing harm to them.
The Executive Editor of the Daily Camera, Kevin Kaufman, justified publishing the letter by asserting that environmental activists could rationalize resorting to violent actions in a manner similar to how President Trump justified his decision to strike a Syrian airbase in response to a chemical weapons attack that resulted in civilian casualties.
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