BERN NOTICE: Bernie Takes The Fracking Fight to Colorado

After campaigning for Colorado Democrats in 2018, Bernie is back tonight in the state that is at the center of the fight against climate change

Bern Notice is a production of the Bernie 2020 campaign. Please forward this on to your friends and tell them to subscribe. The views expressed here are solely of the bylined author.

In 2016, Bernie won a huge victory in the Colorado caucuses, and in 2018 he came back to Colorado to campaign for the progressive candidates who ended up winning an historic landslide.

Now, with a recent poll showing Bernie leading in this state, he is once again back in Denver tonight, and he is coming here just a few weeks after becoming the first candidate to call for a complete and total ban on fracking — a position that a new survey shows is wildly popular among Democratic voters.

Colorado has become the epicenter of America’s fracking boom, even as scientists say we must end the fossil fuel era to ward off a climate catastrophe. And the Colorado fracking boom has come with terrible consequences — even beyond the climate-intensified wildfires, droughts and floods that have ravaged the state.

Indeed, thanks in part to fracking and drilling, Denver now has some of the highest levels of air pollution in the entire country — and scientists are also warning that fracking can pollute groundwater and may be contributing to major health problems along Colorado’s populous Front Range.

In light of this, it is hardly surprising that Bernie’s call for a ban on fracking has become a more and more popular position. Consider these data points on the politics of fracking:

• 2017 GALLUP POLL SHOWS STRONG OPPOSITION TO FRACKING: A 2017 Gallup poll found that 53 percent of Americans are opposed to fracking.

• 2018 GALLUP POLL SHOW SUPPORT FOR RESTRICTING FRACKING: Gallup’s 2018 poll found 58 percent want much tougher standards to restrict fracking.

• NEW POLL SHOWS 63% OF DEMOCRATS SUPPORT A FRACKING BAN: A new survey from Data for Progress shows nearly two-thirds of Democratic voters support “banning the practice of fracking in the United States.”

In the 2018 election, grassroots environmental advocates succeeded in putting a proposal on Colorado’s ballot to restrict fracking. The fossil fuel industry spent $40 million against it — and it still received a stunning 45 percent of the vote, even though it was outspent 40 to 1. The strong statewide vote boosted Democratic legislators successful efforts to empower local Colorado communities to restrict fracking. They overcame a fossil fuel industry that had pumped more than $80 million into Colorado politics and that spends millions lobbying the legislature.  

When Bernie is in the White House, that progress will continue with a full ban on fracking.

Rock the boat,

Sirota

P.S. Click here to listen to Bernie’s new climate change interview on Colorado Public Radio.