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April 08, 2014 08:36 AM UTC

Local Control Initiative TV Spot Running in Denver

  • by: Colorado Pols

A brief release from RBI Strategies yesterday:

Coloradans for Local Control today aired their first cable TV ad. The ad focuses on the proximity of fracking to homes and playgrounds, and the need for local control.

Fracking is expected to grow exponentially in the coming years spreading into the residential communities located on top of the Niobrara. Local governments must be able to listen and respond appropriately to community concerns and balance industrial activities with residents' quality of life, health, property values and long-term economic vitality.

FOX 31's Eli Stokols:

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…

As the likelihood of a ballot measure allowing local communities to regulate industrial land uses including oil and gas drilling within their boundaries increases, we're seeing previews of the likely opposition approach: driving a wedge between conservationist Democrats and top-line Democratic candidates, and the false conflation of a local control measure with an "all-out ban" on fracking statewide. Addressing the former, we would argue that Gov. John Hickenlooper is much more compromised on energy than Sen. Mark Udall, yet even Hickenlooper will be seen as sufficiently preferable–on a wide range of issues–to whoever wins the GOP gubernatorial primary to turn out the Democratic vote just fine. As for Udall, he can demonstrate a stark contrast with his opponent on energy issues favorable to conservationists, and is perfectly safe staying neutral on this "state issue" if he chooses.

The second attack on this initiative is frankly much more dangerous, and as we've discussed in this space, deceptively conflating a local control initiative with an unworkable statewide ban on hydraulic fracturing in the public's mind is becoming an everyday occurrence. It's easy to understand why: a total statewide ban on fracking won't pass. Colorado is an energy producing state, and that's not going to change. This measure is about local communities, at their option, protecting themselves. Just like a number of Front Range residential cities have already done.

If the voters can be made to understand what the initiative actually does, it will pass.


8 thoughts on “Local Control Initiative TV Spot Running in Denver

  1. To Stokols' point, FDR once said "Now, make me do what you want" to his Democratic Congress.

    These guys just need to follow the blazed path and they'll be fine.

    It's true Hick's pure oil and gas through and through, but in dealing with the O&G boys, he only needs to remember the prophetic words of Titus Pullo:

    "No one's a "traitor"………..untill they are".

    He's done after this next term any way. Future litmus tests in the Democratic Party in Colorado will include supporting water faucets that don't erupt in flames when turned on. If Hick doesn't plan on changing parties, this is his Rubicon moment.

  2. While I support more local control and keeping frack sites within a certain perimeter of communities, schools, and parks — it's good for the economy. 

    More regulation and middle ground is good, but by all means — frack away. Polis is fighting a losing initiative that will hurt Dems up and down the ballot. 

  3. At the core of this argument is really the question of how we are going to best develop a broad, diverse economy statewide using Colorado's plethora of natural resources and human assets?  In contrast to what the O&G industry would like us to believe, we are not going to build a long-term, sustainable economy on the back of fracking – an industry that accounts for just over 2% of our state GDP. 

    Every community and region of this state has a different resource.  Yuma County isn't going to lure the high-tech sector in to the Ogallala Aquifer region; Boulder isn't shopping for massive cattle and pork confinement facilities.  The decision of how to best maximize these local and regional assets for long-term growth should be decided at a local level – not as a 'one size fits all' program crafted under the Gold Dome at the hands of industry lobbyists. 

    The likelihood that Yuma County, (or any eastern Colorado rural county east of the 104th longitude) would institute a ban is nil. Thus, using logic often employed here by the trolls, would make their assertion that this is an attempt at a 'statewide ban' patently false

    The Front Range (and possibly the sacrifice zone on the western slope) may well decide they want a different kind of future than the one playing out in Weld County.  If the Boulder-Larimer County cooridor decided, by a democratic vote, that their future should be built upon its environment, its human assets and research and education institutions – they should be afforded that option.  It would be a reasonable outcome if that happened.  In fact, Colorado's high-tech sector produces 2x more jobs per dollar of state GDP than the O&G sector – without requiring the massive consumption of our natural resources and inordinate strains on our physical infrastructure.

    A ban instituted locally by citizens would also address the growing challenges of food security (Colorado is a "Food Desert".);  it would preserve the regions agricultural water supplies for food production – and thwart the growing air quality challenges of the region that affects current agricultural production already.

    Weld County is an economic powerhouse because it has mastered the art of of exploiting its natural gas resources. That is their resource.  Eastern Colorado harbors the energy equivalent of Weld County oil and gas reserves – it just happens to be in the form of megawatt-hours and not btu's. The same can be said for the Weld County Saudi Arabia of solar, the San Luis Valley.

    "Energy" is "Energy".  Natural gas is no more important to this "Energy State" than is any other form of energy.  It could be a good bridge to the future, but without the proper regulatory oversight it's no better than the extraction and combustion methods of any other form of dinosaur poop. It's becoming increasingly apparent that sacrificing our long-term future on the extraction of these prehistoric sources of energy is a bad bet.

    Our unfortunate detour from Ritter's "New Energy Economy"  (a platform that delivered him a 16-point advantage over Beauprez) over the past four years is proving, so far, to have contributed little, if any, significant benefits to the state's economy when you view it through the lens of what the alternatives could have been.

    As our dear, departed friend Randy Udall often challenged us: "speak to the blinding flashes of the obvious".  In this case, it may be time to suggest that if the Emperor isn't naked, it's starting to look like a toga party with half the sheet gone.  This issue won't be an ideological fight. It will be decided by a majority of citizens, duly informed of their choices, that will be made up of Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, Greens and Independents.  I'll go out on a limb and call them "The Majority".

    To refute gumshoe's response, this will not be a losing intiative that will hurt Dems up and down the ballot.  It will be the death knell to those seeking office (regardless of political stripe) who choose a platform that supports the illusion of a free-market, economy-building industry.  One that, in reality, is hell-bent on the consumption of our natural resources at all costs.  It will deliver to John Q. Public what has proven to be out-of-reach via our elected officails; it will bridle an industry that has mastered the art of privatizing its profits while socializing its costs. 

    And the people will have spoken.

    Every community and region of the state has different resources.  Yuma County isn't going to draw high-tech into the Ogallala region any more than Boulder – See more at:

    very community and region of the state has different resources.  Yuma County isn't going to draw high-tech into the Ogallala region any more than Boulder County is going to develop large pork and cattle confinement operations. – See more at:

  4. I'm basically a voting rights and civil liberties gal, who bleeds green.

    The local control initiative speaks to my goal of seeing Colorado citizens get to determine their own economic futures, and how much pollution they're willing to live with long term, for short term gain.  If they're well-informed on the risks, and say, hey! We'll take that risk of fetal abnormalities for the sake of a few jobs!  Then more power to them. I do want to see that "well-informed" piece in place, though.


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