Flush with cash, the fracking industry is liberally throwing bills around as it battles anti-fracking groups pushing suspensions and outright bans on the practice in four Colorado cities.
Anti-fracking ballot measures have been put forth by residents of Fort Collins, Boulder, Lafayette, and Broomfield. (Similar initiatives are planned in Greeley and Loveland — and some activists are pushing for a statewide initiative.)
Opponents of fracking have raised about $16,000 in total as they fight for votes in those four cities, The Denver Post reports. That’s not bad for a grassroots effort, but it pales in comparison with fundraising by the pro-fracking sector, which is separately fighting a fracking ban in Longmont in court:
Groups opposing four anti-fracking measures have campaign contributions of $606,205 — 99.7 percent of which came from the Colorado Oil and Gas Association, reports filed Tuesday show. …
Most of the money that flowed to pro-industry groups has been spent with iKue Strategies, a Denver firm coordinating advertising and outreach. Former Republican state Rep. B.J. Nikkel is the firm’s adviser on the campaign.
She said the COGA-funded groups are defending people’s mineral rights and economic interests in the oil and gas industry.
“I would love to see us beat every one of these ballot initiates because they’re bad for the cities,” Nikkel said.
Try telling that to residents of a state where recent floods spread more than 60,000 gallons of petrochemical-laced fluids from fracking operations into yards, parks, and rivers.