Niwot High School Students Call on Boulder County Commissioners to Ban Fracking

WASHINGTON – Today, The Niwot High School Environmental Club released a video in which students, ranging from age ten to eighteen, urge the Boulder County Commissioners to protect…

WASHINGTON – Today, The Niwot High School Environmental Club released a video in which students, ranging from age ten to eighteen, urge the Boulder County Commissioners to protect their future by enacting a ban on fracking. The video launched ahead of a major Boulder County Commissioner hearing meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 1 at 4:00 p.m. where commissioners will hear public comment on proposed revisions to its Article 12 regulations addressing oil and gas operations. 

Niwot High School sits just three miles away from Crestone Peak Resources’ proposed fracking site. At 140 wells, the fracking site, if granted permit, would be the largest in the state of Colorado. Fracking emits carcinogens and greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, jeopardizing the health and well-being of humans and the environment. Thus, the prospect of the development of the largest fracking site in the state, only a few miles away from the Niwot high school and community, is terrifying to students, teachers, and community members alike. 

“We, the youth of Colorado, simply ask our elected officials to do their job, to protect us by using their power and the opportunity presented by SB 19-181 to protect Colorado’s future. Ban Fracking,” said Maya Beauvineau, a senior at Niwot High School. 

Motivated by the immediacy of the threat to their community, as well as the awareness of the repercussions of oil and gas extraction on their future, students at Niwot High School are declaring enough is enough. Since first learning about the proposed Crestone Peak Resources fracking site in 2019, the Niwot Environmental Club, a group of roughly 30 students from Niwot High School, has dedicated its efforts toward organizing the youth voice against fracking. 

“The idea that elected officials would allow for something that is so detrimental to the environment and to our health is mind-blowing,” said Desta Soma, Freshman.

Throughout 2020, club members have urged Boulder County to lead the state toward a genuinely safe, healthy, and clean future by enacting a ban on fracking at local Boulder County Commissioner Public Hearings. At the Oil and Gas Planning Commission Hearing in November, students demanded increased setbacks of 2,500 feet from open space and land occupied by humans–rather than the 2,000-foot setbacks from only lands occupied by humans that are currently proposed in Boulder County. 

Despite the overwhelming public support for stricter regulations, the Planning Commission did not act to increase setback distance following the hearing. The Niwot Environmental Club, however, remained undeterred. The club hopes the county commissioners will listen to the voices of the rising generation, along with countless other colorado citizens from all walks of life, and act to genuinely protect the health and well-being of humans, the environment, and wildlife as SB 19-181 obligates them to do. 

The Boulder County Commissioners are set to finalize updated regulations this month as the current moratorium on oil and gas drilling in Boulder County is set to expire on December 31, 2020. Those interested in participating in Tuesday’s public hearing can sign up here or provide written comment to oilgascomment@bouldercounty.org

You can watch and share the video @350colorado on Instagram, Facebook, and Youtube.

This post was originally published on Radio Free.


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