By Lauren Swain
350 Colorado Fracking Issue Specialist


On Wed.. September 23, we Coloradans will have a unique opportunity to testify at one of only 3 nationwide EPA hearings regarding the proposed federal methane rules, which would apply to new oil and gas wells nationwide. Learn more and join the event here.

While it may be comforting to know the federal government is making an “effort” to control climate-disruptive methane emissions, if the rules do not apply to existing wells, and if new fossil fuel production and consumption are not curbed in the near term, the rules will not adequately protect our climate or human health from dangerous releases of methane and toxic substances into the air. We encourage you to join us in demanding meaningful action to prevent harmful emissions from existing wells and a plan to permanently end the production and use of fossil fuels in the near term.

September 23 EPA Methane Rules Hearing and Rally

9am to 8pm: Hearing @ EPA, Region 8, 1595 Wynkoop Street, Denver, CO 80202,

12pm noon Rally at in the parking lot of the Alliance Center, 1536 Wynkoop Street, Denver.  REGISTER to testify at: (or in person at the hearing).

SEND COMMENTS to “a-r docket” at, Attention Docket ID No. EPA HQ OAR 2010 0505

Please RSVP and spread the word on Facebook!


We are often told that the weak rules generated by government efforts to protect the environment are the result of “compromise” with leaders who make the protection of corporate profits a higher priority. The limitations felt by politicians who might otherwise pursue genuine environmental protection are certainly understandable. Compromise is part of human relationships, and political negotiation falls under that category.


But if we, as climate advocates, are to have a real chance at saving our climate and protecting human health from the dangerous emissions emanating from oil and gas wells, we cannot cheer these compromises. We cannot accept and applaud the “effort made” when the results of these efforts fall so far short of what is needed to make a meaningful difference. Why? Because Nature turns a blind eye to human “efforts” and will follow its own laws in determining the outcomes we experience. “Nice try” is not in Nature’s vocabulary and it can’t really be part of ours either, as we push for the real reforms needed to maintain a sustainable climate and healthy communities.


Environmental groups are divided over the value of government rulemaking itself. Some groups have adopted a “non-regulatory,” ban-only approach to fracking and other fossil fuel extraction, while others will rally their troops to sing the praises of the smallest incremental improvements in policy, often with political objectives driving the message.

Again, it’s understandable to want to defend and promote elected officials making weak efforts over those who would stall any such effort entirely, given a chance. However, ultimately, that approach does little to protect our only home, planet Earth.


As we come together with others to advocate for meaningful progress in policy, we must also demand a quick end to fossil fuel extraction—with its damage to our climate, our lands, our waters, and our health—and insist on a new plan to transition to renewable energy now. Although some compromise may be inevitable, our acquiescence is not.