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October 24, 2013 08:24 AM UTC

Nice Photo, But They Don't "Frack" Peaks

  • by: Colorado Pols

The Denver Business Journal's Cathy Proctor reports on a new pro-oil industry advocacy group, Coloradans for Responsible Energy Development, and their "long-term" plan to win Colorado residents' hearts and minds over on the issue of hydraulic fracture drilling, or "fracking," in their neighborhoods:

The state’s newest oil and gas advocacy group, Coloradans for Responsible Energy Development (CRED) is planning for the long haul: A multi-year campaign to inform the public about the industry, its practices and how its products are used — and about fracking.

That’s according to spokespersons for Anadarko Petroleum Corp. (NYSE: APC) and Noble Energy Inc. (NYSE: NBL), the state’s two biggest oil and gas companies, which are backing the new organization.

Or, put another way, CRED (website here) is not a flash in the pan that will disappear after the Nov. 5 election…

“This is a multi-year effort and we have a long road ahead — irrespective of what happens in [the elections in] 2013, or 2014 or 2015,” said Robin Olsen, a Denver-based spokeswoman for Anadarko, which employs about 1,300 people in the state.

Whatever CRED's long-term agenda may be, as of this writing they are principally concerned with defeating a group of moratoriums (and one outright ban) on the practice of "fracking" with the city limits of several, mostly residential Front Range communities. Here's a CRED mailer we were forwarded yesterday, which was sent to a Democratic household in Boulder. In Boulder, Question 2H would extend an existing moratorium on "fracking" to five years. Their "positive" message gets points for cleverness even as it deceives:


What a lovely photo, presumably of a Colorado mountain ridge–we haven't conclusively identified it just yet. A high alpine forest occupies the valley below the ridgeline, and wildflowers abound above timberline on the opposing ridge that supplied the vantage point for this photo.

The problem, if you think about this for more than a few passing seconds, is that nobody's drilling here.


Like we said, we're not sure where the first mountain photo is located. As for the one you can see above, used on the back of the mailer, that looks to us like the San Juan Mountains as viewed from a place called American Basin–please correct us on this if we're wrong, readers. American Basin is located in the Handie's Peak Wilderness Study Area, and has been off-limits to oil extraction for decades. We don't even think there's any oil up there, but even if there was, nobody has ever drilled for it.

To help us illustrate our point, here's a photo of what you might encounter flying over an area of Colorado that is actually subject to oil and gas drilling. Via the Colorado Independent:


We could find more such photos–no doubt our readers have some–but you get the idea. Colorado is a beautiful place, with beautiful high mountains and pristine wilderness areas. It is also a place scarred in many locations by oil and gas drilling. Everybody knows that, including the voters the above mailer was sent to who are weighing a moratorium on "fracking" in the city limits of Boulder.

And they know their homes are not in the wilderness.


11 thoughts on “Nice Photo, But They Don’t “Frack” Peaks

  1. That location is west of Rifle, just east of Rulison, on the north side of the Colorado River, and immediately south of the cliffs of the Roan Plateau (in the vicinity of the Garfield County landfill and the location of Anvil Points, one of the early oil shale boondoggles).

    I haven't seen any of the tv ads from this non-CRED-ible group, but all three of their radio ads are short on substance and long on cheerleading. Who's surprised?

    But, one thing I find really amazing about this group that claims as one of its goals to "set the record straight" is that they get an obvious and verifiable fact wrong. In their list of 10 "Facts about Fracking" they list as "fact #4" this item:

    Fracking is key to unlocking domestic oil and natural gas deposits so vast that by 2035, less than 1% of our nation’s overall natural gas usage will come from foreign imports.

    Actually, this feat could have been accomplished in 2011. According to data freely available from the U.S. Energy Information Agency, in 2011, total marketed production of natural gas was 25,036,352 MMcf and total U.S. consumption was 25,502,251 MMcf for a shortfall of 1.4%. If the 209,439 MMcf of natural gas that was flared off (most of which happened in North Dakota) had instead been delivered and sold to American customers, production would have been within 0.6% of total consumption. (In 2012, U.S. production met all but a mere 0.7% of consumption, even without accounting for the losses to flaring.) So, why do we need an accelerated program for meeting some mythical goal in 2035? We've met this goal repeatedly in the last couple of years and almost annually in the 1980s.

  2. And if I had my way, the frackers should be drilled up their rear end and find oil in their brains.. oh wait, it looks like crap.. nevermind….


    Fracking should be banned forever in the state of Colorado. Period. 

  3. The mountain scenery could be the South Arapaho Pass trail west of the town of Eldora in boulder county. They would be losing money if they tried to drill up there but the value of the highcountry as a protected watershed for the Front Range cities (Boulder) can't be over estimated.

    1. Sure there is.

      We could switch, as a national priority, to producing all our energy by less…or non…polluting methods. I would explain what some of those are to you…but…why??

      You would just say something completely loony like "well, natural gas is clean energy", and prove how unbelievably ignorant you are, and frankly Enthreebee, I don't have the patience for such a heavy lift…sorry.

    2. We got no problem with energy production, n3b….some of us just don't feel the need to kneel and suck on the pipes of the Oil and Gas Industry for the rest of our lives.

      Why are you so pants-wettingly terrified of cleaner, renewable energy that doesn't poison the planet? 

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