Bob Parker, left, accepts a donation in support of Proposition #112 in Fremont County, Colorado

Thanks to Bob and Kay Parker of Coaldale, Colorado for sharing the following speech offered in Fremont County, Colorado this past week. Bob and Kay, who are 350 Colorado Board members as well as leaders of 350 Central Colorado shared why they feel it is so important to vote yes on Proposition #112. 

I am coming to you to explain why voting for Proposition 112 is so important to me and to my family.

Approximately eight years ago I stood up in front of you at our annual Picnic and told you I had prostate cancer.  The second doctor I went to told me I had two years to live and to get my affairs in order.  You got together knowing Kay and I are not wealthy and at that time had no insurance and scraped together several thousand dollars to help with our expenses. We will always be incredibly grateful for that act of kindness at one of the darkest moments of our lives.

Another part of my story was why did I get prostate cancer in the first place?  There was no prostate cancer in my family history and very little cancer of any kind in my family. The answer I found later was that throughout my twelve years of elementary, junior high and high school I drank water contaminated by trichlorethylene a highly carcinogenic chemical used to wash airplanes – and now used in fracking.  My schools, all three of them, are wrapped around the Tucson International Airport, The Tucson Air National Guard and Hughes Aircraft.  The chemical they used to wash their airplanes went down into the water table and killed hundreds.  It turns out that even now hundreds more are continuing to become ill and sometimes die from that probably ignorant act.

Today fracking companies in Colorado and across our country are continuing to pour this chemical and hundreds of other highly carcinogenic and toxic chemicals by the millions of gallons into the ground.  That these chemicals are deadly is no longer ignorant. Over a thousand peer reviewed studies have found the chemicals used in fracking are dangerous and deadly. These chemicals leak into the water table, into the soil, into the air.  The fracking industry is allowed to do this within three hundred feet to a thousand feet of schools, playgrounds, athletic fields, hospitals, homes and waterways. Even more important – they choose to.

I do not want the children and their parents of today to go through what my friends’ families went through then and my family and I are going through now.  Our children don’t need to sicken and die, but they are and will continue to sicken and die if the fracking industry is not forced to back off two thousand five hundred feet.

Whether or not the industry might lose a few jobs or lose a few bucks is immaterial (although I believe that not to be the case).  What is critical – we do not allow this slow murder to continue.

Vote yes on Proposition 112.  Support this like all our children’s lives depend upon it – because they do.

To get involved, make a donation, volunteer or learn more about #112, click here.