Readers weigh in on the state's fracking debate

"Frack Attack!," Alan Prendergast, July 10

What the Frack?

Another excellent story by Alan Prendergast. Thank you for injecting some sanity into the hysterical — on all sides — discussion of fracking in Colorado.
Jules Baer

I wanted to thank you very much for Alan Prendergast's informative article on fracking. I was so pleased to learn that he had done his homework — quoting the number of active wells to be 52,000 instead of the tired old 50,000 figure, as well as the fact there are only seventeen inspectors at COGCC. Also quoting studies that have been done, as well as "outing" some of the oil-and-gas untruths.

I live in Aurora, and I have learned that Conoco Phillips applications have skyrocketed in Aurora, much to my dismay.

Thanks again for really getting a handle on what's going on, and reporting it in an unbiased manner. Bet Alan Prendergast isn't the oil and gas industry favorite, but I can tell you that my friends, neighbors and family are grateful that he has reported the latest fracking news and hope he continues to do so.
Pat Dunn

Now that you have clearly taken one side, I'd suggest that you follow up with the rebuttal, Truthland, a film. Josh Fox is a charlatan who is easily discredited in this movie.

I agree that we should have safe fracking — no issue there. But until the left-wingers come up with a better and economically feasible plan to provide energy to this nation, I'd be careful about banning fracking. Otherwise, we'll all be huddled around an open fire to stay warm and using candles for lighting.

One other issue that bothers me concerning fracking is water usage. Clearly there is a lot used, but compared to some other uses that include non-essentials like watering golf courses around the country, the fracking water usage is minimal.
John W. Warner

I am nothing short of completely disappointed with "Frack Attack!," published in one of my lifetime-favorite publications, Westword.

Yes, I do work in the oil and gas industry. But, wait: Before you make the typical impulsive judgments that I am an extremely conservative Republican who works for "Big (Bad) Oil" with no concern for the environment, let me tell you a little bit about myself. Born in 1980, I am a Colorado native and resident, a graduate of the University of Colorado at Boulder and a Colorado property owner. I cherish this state and all of the natural beauty that it embodies, and would never encourage an activity that could potentially harm Colorado's environment or the people within it. Before entering the oil industry, with my middle-of-the-road political stance and longstanding very pro-environmental views (I am an accredited LEED-certified associate), I engaged in detailed due diligence to understand and get a moral comfort level associated with the financial, political and environmental implications associated with this industry that is so often referred to in a derogatory way.

Fracking has made its way into the spotlight in the last several years (even though it has been used safely in drilling practices since the 1940s) as a result of the well-done publicity staging by Josh Fox, producer of Gasland. This documentary gained momentum and attention like wildfire, especially from those who are quick to blame corporate America for the hardships endured by middle America. The opinions and "facts" conveyed in this documentary have since been disproven by many credible sources, and are effectively explained and blatantly revealed in the answer to Gasland, the documentary Fracknation, which I encourage everyone to see before they make an impetuous and emotional decision about this controversial issue. Why believe Fracknation over Gasland? I'm even asking for that: I'm asking that the general public, and the media sources that provide information for the general public, give unbiased perspectives that reasonably tell every side of the story.

It's unfortunate that Westword felt comfortable telling just one side of this story. I encourage everyone to be sure to properly educate themselves about this issue before making a decision. Not discussed are the extremely detrimental economic consequences if impulsive (and uneducated) votes effectively make Colorado a non-fracking state. Similar to Detroit and its dependence on the auto industry, nearly half of the businesses in Colorado are directly or indirectly impacted by a single industry — in our case, oil and gas. Be sure you are ready to swallow the fact that this decision, which would cripple the industry in our state, will also literally cripple our economy. Significantly less tax revenues, immediate loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs, and property values that have been soaring will alternatively completely crash. I am terrified to see just how bad it could get and the ultimate exodus this decision would invoke.

Clearly, I have a strong point of view about this issue. I deal with negative cogitations associated with my chosen career and industry on a regular basis and feel like I am defending myself constantly. It reminds me of traveling to foreign countries and being asked where I am from, and, as soon as I say the USA, feeling immediately obligated to explain myself and why we are not all bad people, as our reputation often depicts us to be in the world. Yes, I work in the oil and gas industry, and no, I am not a bad person who engages in or condones harmful treatment to our environment.

Voters, learn all sides of the story. Stand behind whatever decision you make — because you have confidently educated yourself on the full story, not just biased articles such as those published in Westword.
Amanda Wynn Bidgood

Very interesting article by Alan Prendergast regarding the hydraulic fracturing of energy production wells. One thing I found very ironic was Shane Davis driving 70,000 miles decrying a process that allows him to fuel his vehicle. Even if he's running a full electric like a Leaf or a Volt, the fuel still comes from the ground (coal, in that case). Does Davis have any idea where his motor fuel comes from?

Hydraulic fracturing has been employed safely for more than sixty years. This process occurs very deep underground and does not affect groundwater at all. The climate crisis ranted about by Davis is that we're now in a cooling cycle. This makes it harder for the fever swamp leftists to persuade the mainstream that skyrocketing energy prices will help anyone.

The folks who came to the Oriental have no idea what will happen to their heating bills should a statewide ban on hydraulic fracturing pass. That will be their Emily Litella moment (SNL; R.I.P., Gilda) — i.e., "Never mind." Almost as bad as what happens if a total ban on coal is effected. Barack Obama's promise of "skyrocketing" electricity prices would be a nightmare.

The left wing in this country will not allow factual information to sully the purity of their worldview. This is their religion we're talking about. In a previous era, a guy like me would be branded a heretic and burned at the stake. However, what they want would deeply hurt everyone they claim to want to help.
Pat Desrosiers

If a county/city can choose not to sell MMJ in a state that voted it in, then they should also say whether or not to frack in that county/city.
John Pinnick
Posted on Facebook

No one wants fracking in their back yard, not even the frackers.
Louis Cruz Jr.
Posted on Facebook

Fuck fracking. I would like to keep my plants alive and water non-flammable.
Adam Johnson
Posted on Facebook

Ban fracking and take the fracking ads off the air. I want to smash my TV.
Margaux Milchen
Posted on Facebook

Keep calm and frack on.
Richard Hoover
Posted on Facebook

Editor's note: Find many more comments on "Frack Attack!" — as well as additional coverage of fracking — at

Letters to the Editor, July 10

Another Pot Shot

Robert Chase makes some very valid points in his letter published here last week, and if the journalistic community doesn't start trying to do a better job of actually covering our cannabis community rather than pandering to industry interests, you are going to look pretty obvious in the history books for just how slanted your efforts are. Thanks for your time and efforts toward balanced coverage of the upcoming end to Prohibition.
Timothy Tipton