DENVER – Gas and oil supporters on Tuesday continued their push to demonstrate the benefits of hydraulic fracturing with a new television ad featuring Colorado farming.
The ad comes ahead of a report expected this week from environmental interests that point to hazards with the industrial practice that employs sand, chemicals and water to stimulate gas-and-oil production.
In the gas-and-oil industry’s latest television commercial, pushed by Coloradans for Responsible Energy Development, Michelle Smith, an organic farmer from Elbert, claims the income she receives from mineral rights is helping sustain her family farm.
“Organic operations are expensive ...” Smith says in the ad, surrounded by sparkling fields and healthy goats. “An attack on fracking is essentially an attack on landowners like us ... and that just gets my goat.”
The campaign comes as so-called fractivists continue to push for stricter regulations, and a task force – in which La Plata County Commissioner Gwen Lachelt serves as co-chairwoman – discusses possible legislation.
Environmental interests this week are pushing a report, scheduled to be published Friday in the peer-reviewed journal Reviews on Environmental Health, that will show that chemicals from fracking are linked to reproductive and developmental problems.
A separate report scheduled for release Thursday aims to quantify wind power’s pollution-reduction benefits. Environment Colorado will specifically evaluate benefits to 30-percent wind production by 2030.
Meanwhile, stakeholders continue to battle over proposed U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standards that aim to cut carbon-dioxide emissions nationwide by 30 percent below 2005 levels by 2030. A goal of 35 percent has been proposed for Colorado.
“Across the state, we’ve seen tremendous support for cleaning up power plants and acting on climate,” said Anna McDevitt, a campaign organizer with Environment Colorado. “Coloradans want clean air and a healthier future for our kids.”
But Mike Duncan, president and chief executive officer of the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, called on the EPS to withdraw the proposal.
“The problems associated with this legally questionable proposal are manifold and will result in needless harm to Americans’ pocketbooks and our economy at large,” he said.