With large oil and gas reserves, Colorado often is at the center of the nation’s fossil fuel wars.
As Colorado gears up for another fight over oil and gas drilling near homes and schools, this time the fossil fuel industry is reportedly doing whatever it takes to win.
In the latest flare-up, the oil and gas industry used a website to single out individual journalists for criticism. At the same time, pro-industry protesters were reportedly shadowing canvassers who were gathering signatures to get a measure — Initiative 97 — on the November ballot that would increase the distance between drilling sites and homes.
Colorado Rising, the anti-fracking group behind the ballot initiative, issued a statement last week claiming “harassers were paid to intimidate petition circulators and discourage voters from signing” the petition to get the initiative on the ballot.
Anne Lee Foster, a Colorado Rising volunteer, told Colorado Public Radio that an anonymous employee at Anadarko Petroleum shared an internal document that appeared to ask employees to report when they see Initiative 97 canvassers. The letter includes an email address and a text message hotline, Foster said.
Anadarko had not returned a request for comment from ThinkProgress at the time this article was published.
With huge reserves of oil and gas and an active environmental and clean energy movement, the state often finds itself at the center of the nation’s fossil fuel wars. Oil and gas companies have increasingly been moving into suburban and urban areas of Colorado in search of new drilling opportunities; at the same time, suburban sprawl is colliding with oil and gas fields as housing developers build new communities north of Denver.