Fracking haters and fans staging separate rallies in Boulder, Denver: What the frack?

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With Democrats controlling both houses of the Colorado Legislature, Governor John Hickenlooper should have lots of common ground with lawmakers. But one topic is already creating cracks in any consensus: fracking. Hickenlooper has asked for a single set of state regulations that would govern the state's oil and gas industry, but last week, Longmont voted to ban fracking. And today two rallies will drill down into the controversy.

Boosters and business leaders will gather on the west steps of the Colorado State Capitol at noon for "Prosper Colorado -- A Rally for Smarter Rules, Greater Giving, and EmPowered Families." It's hosted by the greater Colorado business community, including the South Metro Denver Chamber, the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce, the Colorado Association of Commerce and Industry, Colorado Competitive Council (C3), Action 22, Progressive 15, CLUB 20 and the Northern Colorado Legislative Alliance.

Here's the announcement:

Prosper Colorado is a rally that seeks to convey that there is a largely silent majority who believe that oil and gas can and should be developed responsibly in Colorado. The energy industry is a crucial part of Colorado's business community and economic outlook. This rally will demonstrate strong support for a bipartisan, statewide approach to energy regulation with responsible business sense.

Speakers will include:

John Brackney of the South Metro Denver Chamber Kelly Brough, of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce Diane Schwenke, of the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce Amy Williams, of Citizens Supporting Property Rights Firestone Mayor Chad Auer Justin Williams, of Lone Star Energy

A few hours later, at 3 p.m., Boulder County Citizens for Community Rights (www.BoCoCCR.org) will hold a Ban Fracking Rally before the 4 p.m. meeting of the Boulder County Commissioners, where they'll hold a public hearing on oil and gas fracking. Both events will be at the Boulder County Courthouse, 1325 Pearl Street. Here's the official reason for the rally:

Fracking is a dangerous industrial activity that pollutes the water and air, uses large quantities of water, jeopardizes the public's health and causes illness, and results in lowered property values.

Can these two sides find common ground? Or will fracking be this state's next turf war.

From our archives: "Controversy over fracking continues despite industry's best efforts to bury it."

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