Colorado Mothers Deliver 21,000 Petitions to Encana Headquarters and Invite Governor to Stand With Them to Stop Fracking Next to Elementary School
Denver – With children wearing t-shirts reading “Don’t Frack My School,” families from the city of Erie were joined by the national consumer advocacy organization Food & Water Watch as they delivered over 21,000 petitions to Encana President Jeff Wojahn urging him to halt plans to frack a well located next to Red Hawk Elementary School in Erie, Colo.
The petitions were collected by the national consumer advocacy organization Food & Water Watch in support of grassroots, parent-powered organization Erie Rising, which is fighting to stop Encana from fracking in their community. After delivering the petitions to Encana, members of Erie Rising and Food & Water Watch delivered to Governor Hickenlooper copies of the petitions along with a personal invitation to attend their June 2 rally to stop fracking in and near Erie’s backyards and schoolyards.
“Erie Rising believes that Encana can’t ignore the voice of 21,000 people to abandon the Canyon Creek well site. We stand together as mothers and as a community in continuing to the ask them not to drill near our school yards,” said Jen Palazollo with Erie Rising.
Food & Water Watch and Erie Rising oppose fracking a proposed well located near Red Hawk Elementary School that will threaten the health, safety and wellbeing of hundreds of children in Erie. Despite several requests from the residents of Erie to abandon this well, Encana maintains its plans to begin fracking there on May 26. The groups are challenging Governor Hickenlooper to stand with Coloradans—not the oil and gas industry—and ask Encana to abandon the well.
“The evidence that fracking and related oil and gas activity contaminates drinking water, poses serious health risks, and pollutes our environment is undeniable and growing throughout Colorado and across the country,” said Sam Schabacker, Mountain West Region Director with Food & Water Watch. “There are 48,000 fracked wells in Colorado. We are drawing a line in the sand and saying that Encana can’t have this one. Thousands of Americans are standing shoulder to shoulder with the mothers in Erie who are working desperately to protect their children.”
If Encana fracks the well as planned, thousands of trucks will rumble by Red Hawk Elementary School annually, passing within a few hundred feet of where students learn and play. A recent analysis by the New York Times found that safety exemptions for oil and gas truck drivers that allow them to drive exhaustingly long hours has caused a spike in truck accidents—the leading fatality in the industry. In addition, the air contaminants released from this well could float to neighboring Erie Elementary with the prevailing west wind. A recent study from NOAA found that the amount of certain air contaminates in Erie is 10 times higher than in Houston, Texas—likely because of the oil and gas activity in the area.
Erie Rising is a parent-powered organization dedicated to protecting our children, our health, our environment and our community, as well as those beyond our reach. Founded by accomplished women, mothers and business owners, Erie Rising is quickly becoming an effective grassroots organization bringing awareness to the issues related to hydraulic fracturing and concerns for children’s health.
Photos from today’s petition delivery can be downloaded here (please credit Food & Water Watch): http://www.flickr.com/photos/29562849@N06/sets/72157629850602728/
CONTACT: Sam Schabacker, 720-295-1036