by Pam Zubeck
With the rise in oil and gas drilling in Colorado, those interested in protecting the environment have formed a new group called Coalition for a Clean Colorado or C3.
From the announcement, which you can read in full here:
“We’re a diverse alliance, but what unites us all is a belief that clean air and water, government that is responsive to the concerns of people and communities, and a swift transition to local, clean energy resources and away from dirty, life-threatening fossil fuels, is essential for healthy communities and a livable future”, said Ceal Smith, founder of the Renewable Communities Alliance.
"Community interests often get lumped with conservation and the environment. But these interests don’t fully represent citizen concerns that encompass public health, government accountability, and energy democracy issues. The need for a Coalition that represents the grassroots was urgent", added Smith.
Some local residents who are closely watching how oil and gas drilling unfolds in El Paso County haven't joined C3 yet and have a few questions.
"I need to find out more about who is financing it, the goals and objectives, and its strategies before I decide to join," says Mary Talbott in an e-mail to us.
One part of C3's agenda is to encourage the migration from fossil fuels to clean energy, as stated in the group's announcement:
Replacing costly centralized dirty energy with efficient, affordable and democratic local clean energy is a Coalition priority. Says coalition member Shane Davis, “Natural gas is a bridge-fuel to nowhere. It only leads to increased dependency on just another dirty fossil fuel. What we need is healthy energy; Energy that is perpetually sustainable. If we want increased national security, dissolved dependency on foreign oil and gas, and a clean environment, then we need to start using our intellect and lead the world into sustainable energy independence.”
The announcement goes on to note that oil and gas drilling issues are surfacing across the state, from Weld County to Erie to Longmont to Boulder to Huerfano County, to name a few places.
El Paso County residents might be interested in C3, because Ultra Resources of Houston plans to drill on the eastern plains as well as on 18,000 acres within the city limits it acquired last year from a developer's bankruptcy. The city has declared a moratorium on drilling until the end of May.