Group pushing local control fracking intiative to air first TV ad
DENVER — The proposed ballot measure to allow Colorado communities to ban fracking isn’t officially on this year’s statewide ballot — but it’s already going up on TV.
The group behind the proposal, Coloradans for Local Control, is hitting the airwaves Monday with a 30-second spot that will air on Denver cable.
The spot focuses on the proximity of oil and gas wells to schools and homes and asks viewers: “Would you want to live here? Want your kids to play here?
“Right now, you and your neighbors can’t stop it,” the female narrator continues. “With local control of oil and gas drilling, you have the tools to protect your neighborhood.”
As FOX31 Denver first reported last month, Congressman Jared Polis, D-Boulder, is putting his considerable wealth behind the campaign, which is likely to make life more complicated for two of his fellow Democrats on the ballot this fall.
Gov. John Hickenlooper, a Democrat seeking a second term, has angered the anti-fracking crowd by continuing to defend the industry’s interests, even suing one city that’s attempted to ban fracking (he also negotiated a landmark compromise on tough new air rules for the industry that will make Colorado the first state to regulate methane emissions, but it’s done little to appease those pushing for an all-out ban).
And U.S. Sen. Mark Udall, a Democrat known as a strong conservationist, is already being pressured by his opponent, Republican Congressman Cory Gardner, to take a position on the proposed local control initiative — defined by Gardner’s campaign as a “fracking ban” — which isn’t even on the ballot yet.
While those behind the ballot measure are hopeful it will help turn out more Democratic voters in a mid-term election, when Democrats often vote in smaller numbers, other progressives worry that the ban will draw in oil and gas companies, forcing them to spend heavily in an effort to stop the initiative and possibly doing collateral damage to Udall in his race against an opponent with strong backing from the industry.