The Opportunity Behind Fracking. ~ Suzanne Spiegel

Via elephant journal
on May 31, 2013
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Please join us for an emergency meeting of concerned community members, June 2nd, from 2 pm to 5 pm at Unity Church (2855 Folsom St  Boulder, CO 80304).

On May 21st, 2013, the Boulder County Commissioners approved Hydraulic Fracturing (fracking) for up to 1800 oil and gas wells throughout Boulder County.

Hydraulic fracturing, or ‘fracking’, is a means of natural gas extraction employed in deep natural gas well drilling.

Once a well is drilled, millions of gallons of water, sand and proprietary chemicals are injected, under high pressure, into a well. The pressure fractures the shale and props open fissures that enable natural gas to flow more freely out of the well.

In places like Weld County, Colorado, which have already experienced fracking first hand, the effects have become all too real. People and animals are becoming sick and being forced to leave their homes—which have become nearly worthless—while water and land receive toxic injections of hundreds of cancer-causing and endocrine-disrupting chemicals (learn more at

The implications are so bleak that it is difficult to wrap one’s mind around them, especially in a place like Boulder where most people are busy happily enjoying what their beautiful environment and community has to offer.

But here is a silver lining: fracking is symptom of a systemic illness that has been calling Americans up to the plate for over 3 decades; of a social-political system that is sick and sickening, rooted in fear and greed.

I know this does not sound encouraging, but please stay with me.

If we choose, fracking can be the symptom the kicks us out of our dis-empowered, complacent slumber and fuels us to stand up as an empowered community and say, “Enough!”

If we choose, we can use fracking to catapult into positive, right action.  We can choose to begin to preserve and create a community based on the vision and will of the people that inhabit it, rather than accepting the old paradigm that increasingly brushes to the side human rights, environmental rights and the future of our families.

Many of us have avoided this process because it takes us beyond our comfort zone and will inevitably bring tension to the surface, but this is necessary. It has been necessary in every civil rights movement that came before us.

As Dr. Martin Luther King states in a letter from a Birmingham Jail:

“I had hoped that the white moderate would understand that the present tension in the South is a necessary phase of the transition from an obnoxious negative peace, in which the Negro passively accepted his unjust plight, to a substantive and positive peace, in which all men will respect the dignity and worth of human personality.

Actually, we who engage in nonviolent direct action are not the creators of tension. We merely bring to the surface the hidden tension that is already alive. We bring it out in the open, where it can be seen and dealt with.

Like a boil that can never be cured so long as it is covered up but must be opened with all its ugliness to the natural medicines of air and light, injustice must be exposed, with all the tension its exposure creates, to the light of human conscience and the air of national opinion before it can be cured.”

In Boulder County, one of the meccas for natural healing in the country, many of us already understand the concept of a healing crisis. In many cases, before we get well, we have to face the thing that has been making us sick, even though it will make us uncomfortable.

As a county, we have a great deal to offer this worldwide movement. We are highly educated, happy, healthy and many of us have practices of exploring and expanding consciousness. Many Boulder citizens understand the power of our collective consciousness. I believe that fracking is a challenging issue that can be a catalyst for Boulder to re-empower itself through cooperation and right action.

Because of this, I am actually excited and inspired to see what Boulder County will do. I believe that we can be an example for the rest of the country.

If not us, then who?

On June 2nd, from 2p.m. to 5 p.m. at Unity Church (2855 Folsom St  Boulder, CO 80304), we will hold an informational assembly to kick off a new phase of this movement for health, sustainability and democratic self determination.

Sponsored by:

The Mothers Project Colorado
East Boulder County United
Colorado Extraction Resistance


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Ed: Bryonie Wise


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3 Responses to “The Opportunity Behind Fracking. ~ Suzanne Spiegel”

  1. Zev Paiss says:

    This is so misleading! The Commissioners chose to not extend the moratorium so on June 10th the new updated regulations will come into effect. In addition they asked staff to provide them with a plane to allow a very limited number of application to be approved (NOT 1800 as stated) and then set up an extensive monitoring program to determine the actual effects on these selected wells.

  2. Alessandra Downey says:

    This is not at all misleading. The plan they are calling for "phasing" is something they made up, and as we can see from what happened in Ilinois at the Attorney Generals office …see quote taken from an article posted on

    "After meeting with Mary Morrissey of Attorney General Madigan’s office, renowned biologist and author Sandra Steingraber, PhD, an Illinois native who is an expert on fracking, said, “In her conversation with a delegation of frightened citizens who dropped by the offices of the Illinois Attorney General on Wednesday afternoon, Mary Morrissey emphasized how hard she battled with industry to force them to the table and to concede to regulatory process and negotiate some basic rules. Without the efforts of the attorney general, the industry would simply have its own way with Illinois. She clearly wanted an A for effort. Instead, we were all appalled. It was plain to us that the regulations are the result of political horse trading, not science, and that this industry is more powerful than the attorney general of Illinois. According to Morrissey, the industry fought these regulations ‘tooth and nail.’ Our question: if the oil and gas industry would go to war over the mere idea of regulations, what makes you believe they will meekly cooperate with their enforcement?”

    Steingraber continued, “Everything that Morrissey said about the great difficulty of winning concessions of any kind—as though we should feel grateful—just underscored the need for a moratorium. Fracking is an outlaw enterprise. If we let this bull into our china shop, our wares will all be smashed and we ourselves gored.”

    According to Morrissey, the industry fought these regulations ‘tooth and nail.’ Our question: if the oil and gas industry would go to war over the mere idea of regulations, what makes you believe they will meekly cooperate with their enforcement?”

    The oil and gas industry is going to laugh at any concept of phasing and will not submit to or respect any kinds of limitations our county commissioners try to impose upon them. We have to stand up and fight to ban fracking in Boulder County, as it is a catastrophe everywhere it is allowed.

  3. Jeff Roth says:

    I have read that the “proprietary chemicals” [read: it’s a secret you won’t like] are RADIOACTIVE.