Mock Drilling Rig Erected at Colorado Governor's Mansion by Anti-Fracking Activists

On Monday, hundreds of concerned residents marched in response to Governor John Hickenlooper’s recent claims that Coloradans are no longer mobilizing to protect their communities from the harms of fracking.


The march left Commons Park for the State Capitol, then proceeded to the Governor's Mansion, where a 20-foot mock drilling rig was erected just feet from his doorstep. Loudspeakers were mounted to the top of the platform, projecting the personal stories of citizens who have been harmed by fracking.

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(image: Christian O'Rourke)

Loveland mother and daughter Sharon and Zoe Carlisle chained themselves to the drilling rig in protest. They spoke of their concern for the health and safety of their neighborhood as fracking moves closer to their homes and schools.

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image: Frack Free Colorado

Zoe Carlisle said, “I’m here to show the governor that Coloradans support both good jobs and a healthy environment, not the dead end of fossil fuels. My generation needs to step up and demand the future we wish to see.”

Sharon Carlisle said, “I am doing this for my daughter and all the young people out there like her. Fracking is is an inherently destructive process that we are fighting to keep out of our communities. We have better alternatives like wind and solar and it’s time to put them in place now.

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(image: Christian O'Rourke)

The demonstration comes immediately following the national Stop the Frack Attack conference held this past weekend in Denver. Across the country thousands of instances of health and safety impacts have been reported in relation to the controversial extraction process.

While states such as New York and Maryland have taken a cautious approach, Colorado has been reckless in its development of shale gas reserves. State studies of the impact from the Colorado School of Public Health, NOAA, and others were instrumental in New York’s decision to ban fracking earlier this year.

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(image: Christian O'Rourke)

Since 2012 Colorado communities have passed five fracking bans and moratoria via ballot initiative, while being hugely outspent by the oil and gas industry.

Governor Hickenlooper and the Colorado Oil and Gas Association (COGA) have since issued lawsuits against these municipalities in an attempt overturn the results of the democratic process. The cases are now on appeal and will be decided on by the Colorado Supreme Court.

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