Eleven grassroots citizens groups are demanding that Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper allow them access to meetings he is holding about a proposed special legislative session to address fracking.
Gov. Hickenlooper and the drilling industry have been trying to strike a “grand bargain”-style, watered-down bill to circumvent
a slew of powerful anti-fracking initiatives currently working their way towards the state ballot. Colorado’s regular legislative session ended early in May, and the governor wants to call a special session to pass his compromise bill.
The groups protesting their exclusion from the governor’s meetings are the same ones that led successful efforts to pass anti-fracking ballot initiatives in six front-range communities, and which continue to represent communities impacted by fracking.
Colorado newspapers like the Denver Post
and Denver Business Journal
have widely reported that oil and gas industry executives and other “stakeholders” have been attending discussions with the governor to craft new state legislation pertaining to drilling and fracking.
But none of the citizen and environmental groups that moved the moratoria and bans forward in the last 18 months in the six cities representing over 400,000 citizens, including Fort Collins, Loveland (pending), Longmont, Boulder, Broomfield, and Lafayette, have been informed about the meetings or invited to attend.
The groups believe that Gov. Hickenlooper’s meetings may violate Colorado’s Sunshine Law which requires the state to notify the public about the meetings and allow the public access to them. The groups say they believe the governor may be trying to subvert public process and citizen input by holding closed-door meetings with industry executives.
The eleven groups demanding access to the meetings are Citizens for a Healthy Fort Collins, Our Longmont, Our Broomfield, What the Frack? Arapahoe, Be The Change, Garfield Transparency Project, Food and Water Watch, The Mother’s Project, Frack Free Colorado and 350 Colorado.
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