Last week, concerned citizens gathered outside an EPA hearing in Denver to demand a change in the EPA's 'Haliburton' loophole.
Testifying with them, was
former EPA official Wes Wilson who filed a Whistleblower lawsuit against the EPA.
Mr. Wilson was there specifically to testify about the EPA allowing Oil and Gas companies to inject toxic chemicals into the ground for the purpose of Hydraulic Fracturing, without disclosing those chemicals for public review as required by the Safe Drinking Water Act. This is known as the 'Haliburton loophole' passed in 2005.
Wes Wilson, who was featured in Josh Fox's 'Gasland', had a lot of community groups with him including What the Frack and Food and Watch as well as families - many of whom have suffered directly from fracking fluid contamination on their land.
Dozens of communities from around the United States, from Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, and Pennsylvania are complaining that they are near these (fracking) activities and they are getting ill.
We have no rigorous investigation of how these air pollutants are harming people...
In many states landowners have sold leases to Oil and Gas companies to frack, only to find out later that their water has been contaminated.
What's worse than that?
Well, Colorado is a 'mineral rights' state, which means landowners do not own the mineral rights under their land. So to add insult to injury, they don't even get offered compensation from the Oil companies when they set up and extract oil and gas under their property. And many times, the Oil companies are drilling without the community even getting a public hearing.
And families have begun to notice increasing and unusual sicknesses among occurring near the gas well sites. Exposure just to the air near the open pits causes eye problems, headaches, and bloody noses, and that's not even considering the effects of drinking contaminated water.
One resident summed what was happening to families in Colorado.
Basically it boils down to our government has given the right of Imminent Domain to corporations for their private gain.
I don't own mineral rights where I am...
they can just come in and take what they want...
This is the reason we had a revolution during Colonial times, its the same thing!'
And this is not just about remote rural communities -
(Mary Ladou of SouthPark Coalition)
The oil and gas companies want to drill up to 300 wells and we are at 10,000 feet, and the water that flows through there is the water that supplies the Front Range.
This could be coming soon to the Front Range - including cities of Colorado Springs, Boulder, Fort Collins, and Denver...
Keep going strong Occupy - you are our best hope...