Opinion: Engage in local politics; be wary of outside influence


By John F. Dulles

As summer swiftly flies by, we soon will be immersed in local political races, especially Broomfield City Council elections scheduled for November.

Because of the serious potential threats to our health and safety resulting from proposed major hydraulic fracking planned for our community, it is inevitable that much of the discourse will center on issues relating to this industrial activity.

Broomfield is an exceptional suburban community and many families choose to live here because it is perceived as a safe, healthy, and environmental-friendly oasis in the metropolitan area. We have good schools, many open spaces and opportunities for healthy lifestyles.

It should not be surprising that our residents would like these attributes to be sustained. And therefore, many of us have engaged with local and state elected officials to advocate for policies that assure that the health and safety of our citizens have priority over potentially harmful oil and gas operations. This is the impetus for the petition we are proposing that will amend the city charter to reflect these priorities. (I am proud to be one of the petition signers). I urge all Broomfield registered voters to support this important initiative.

Finally, we must expect there will be an enormous interest and investment of funds in the upcoming city elections. Much of this will come from outside our community. Regrettably, it would not be surprising if oil and gas lobbies (including those supported by the Koch brothers) attempt to pour money into our local races to influence the outcome. While some environmental organizations might become involved, they cannot come close to competing with the deep pockets of the energy industry. And another huge difference: environmental groups are not in this game for the financial profit of private corporate interests.

Broomfield is a special place, but in order to retain this status, our citizens must mobilize to assure our state and local public officials understand that we are not willing to take chances on the well-being of our residents.

Other communities in Colorado have learned the hard way that this cannot be taken for granted. Lives have been lost, neighborhoods have been shattered. We must not let that happen here.

John F. Dulles is a Broomfield resident

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