How do I fight back from fracking?
December 19, 2011 12:04 PM   Subscribe

Can you help me Metafilter? The Bureau of Land Management in Colorado is trying to lease 30,000 acres of farmland and wilderness for fracking, including land completely surrounding the farm I live on!

This land in question is smack dab in the middle of a vibrant organic farming community, the North Fork Valley, and will affect the irrigation and drinking water of hundreds of farms and homes, not to mention the air/light/ground pollution and disruption to vast stretches of wilderness.

The BLM somewhat suspiciously pushed this through over the holidays, and the public comment deadline is January 9. I live on a beautiful organic farm in the area which relies on its pristine watershed, as do all the other farms along the entire valley. Any advice, angles on precedents, or other ideas to thwart this attempt?

Notice of Competitive Lease

The proposal and map, with contact info
posted by ambulance blues to Law & Government (16 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Get a lawyer.
posted by croutonsupafreak at 12:31 PM on December 19, 2011 [3 favorites]

You could contact Environment Colorado. I don't see fraccing listed on their issues page, but they national network they are part of has definitely worked on fraccing.
posted by alms at 12:35 PM on December 19, 2011 [1 favorite]

Contact for local Sierra Club chapter and see if anyone is on this?
posted by lathrop at 12:35 PM on December 19, 2011 [1 favorite]

Publicity is your friend here. Call newspapers and TV stations, explain the situation in a compelling way, and get this on the local news and the front page of the paper. Bad press by itself could kill this, or at least set the stage for more influential public comments.

Also, I second calling a lawyer and participating in the comment process.
posted by unreasonable at 12:43 PM on December 19, 2011 [1 favorite]

Read this story about how a band of concerned citizens in a Dallas suburb managed to get an oil company run out of town before they could begin fracking.

This is a very big deal and you need help fast. Reach out to other anti-fracking groups around the country and beg for their advice.
posted by pineapple at 12:47 PM on December 19, 2011 [1 favorite]

Check your memail.
posted by lunasol at 12:49 PM on December 19, 2011

You need to go door to door in your valley and bring peoples attention to this. Big town meeting prior to Christmas. Get everyone involved ASAP, you will have infinitely more resources.

Be professional, don't come across as the neighborhood crackpot, and don't let the tone head that way. Stick to the facts and give people talking points, studies and questions they can incorporate into their comments. Give them pens, paper and stamped, addresses envelopes. or templates for emails. Record all the comments before they are sent so you know how many went in.

If you get several hundred to a thousand well reasoned comments thats huge and will significantly slow the permitting process down. The media will NOT accomplish this. You have to get those comments in and you have to have a good idea of how many were sent and when. Top priority.

Then do the lawyer/ media thing. But right now? Public record of peoples concerns is top priority.
posted by fshgrl at 12:58 PM on December 19, 2011 [2 favorites]

One of the "resources" you have in colorado is communities that have already faced serious problems caused by fracking. So, when mobilizing popular support, you can point to the folks in, say, Weld County who've had to spend shitloads of money dealing with the results of fracking.
posted by Jon_Evil at 1:16 PM on December 19, 2011

Also state and US congresspeople.
posted by blargerz at 1:28 PM on December 19, 2011

In preparation for the worst-case scenario, I'd also suggest you get several baseline samples of your soil and water professionally taken, tested and analyzed right now.
posted by answergrape at 1:31 PM on December 19, 2011 [6 favorites]

Colorado Environmental Coalition. They are good people. And media, media, media.
posted by mochapickle at 1:32 PM on December 19, 2011 [1 favorite]

It was covered today by Westword.
posted by Wordwoman at 2:34 PM on December 19, 2011 [2 favorites]

Contact the Sonoran Institute and nthing PR PR and more PR
posted by TishSnave at 2:51 PM on December 19, 2011

Try here. This is one of the people that has been a pain in the ass (in a good way) for Barnett Shale companies in North Texas. She may be able to help or point you in the right direction.
posted by narcoleptic at 4:20 PM on December 19, 2011

A friend of mine was successful in preventing the placement of natural gas drilling next to his property by going to public meetings and pointing out the amount of noise pollution that accompanies the process. So, that's another angle to use. Do make sure you attend the meetings!
posted by backwords at 9:25 AM on December 20, 2011

The Rocky Mountain Institute might be able to give you some ideas. Non-profit, in Colorado, clean energy is the core of their mission statement.
posted by bukvich at 3:52 PM on December 23, 2011

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