Emmy-Winning Producers Behind First Pro-Proposition 112 Campaign Ad

A new pro-Proposition 112 advertisement juxtaposes industry videos about fracking and oil drilling with news footage of the hazards associated with it.
A new pro-Proposition 112 advertisement juxtaposes industry videos about fracking and oil drilling with news footage of the hazards associated with it. Colorado Rising
A woman running through a sunny field. Two hikers climbing a mountain. A baby touching a flower. Juxtapose that with pollution, flames shooting out of someone's faucet and news coverage of deadly oil and gas explosions.

Two Emmy winners, Mark Crawford and Larissa Rhodes of Longmont, are behind the first campaign video in favor of Proposition 112, the ballot measure that would require new oil and gas drilling sites to be at least 2,500 feet away from homes, schools, water sources and other areas deemed vulnerable. Rhodes and Crawford were producers of Chasing Coral, a Netflix documentary about the effects of climate change on coral reefs, and scientists' efforts to document the problem. The documentary won the award for Outstanding Nature Documentary at this year's Emmys.

The fifty-second video, sponsored by Colorado Rising, shows footage that proponents say was used in oil and gas industry advertising (the very rosy picture described above), followed by news and other footage of explosions, pollution and hazards caused by oil and gas drilling sites.

In a statement, Rhodes and Crawford say they love all the Front Range has to offer, but oil and gas are not the future.

"Our future depends on being able to breathe clean air, drink clean water, and live without the fear of our home going up in flames. We believe all of Colorado deserves the same and hope our neighbors pay attention when they vote, because our cherished way of life is about to go to the highest bidder. That’s why we’re voting YES on 112."

We are all sick of political ads, but these videos won't be running on your TV during prime time. Instead, Colorado Rising spokeswoman Anne Lee Foster says they will be launched online and via grassroots outreach. The video had been viewed more than 28,000 times the day it was released.

"We're just really excited to counter some of the manipulation and extreme tactics the industry is using to try to influence Colorado voters," says Foster.

Protect Colorado, just one of the political groups opposing Proposition 112, has raised more than $10 million so far (mostly from the oil and gas industry) and already has several ads in rotation.
KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Paige Yowell joined Westword as a staff writer in 2018. Born and raised in Nebraska, she previously worked as a business reporter for the Omaha World-Herald.
Contact: Paige Yowell