Vote no on Proposition 112


Creative Commons

Fracking wells drill down one to two miles vertically before turning 90 degrees and drilling for a mile more. The water, sand and chemical high-pressure mixture is then pumped into the shale rock, causing the rock to release oil and natural gas.

Anna Icke, Ranger Review Reporter

With the Colorado election coming up on November 6th, registered voters across the state are receiving their mail-in ballots. These 2-page ballots contain not only candidates running for office, but 13 statewide issues, and various issues specific to our district.

One major state issue on the ballot is Proposition 112. According to the Colorado Blue Book, this is a proposition that requires that “any new oil and natural gas development to be located at least 2,500 feet from occupied structures and other areas designated as vulnerable.” This issue brings up three main concerns for voters or colorado citizens: hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, natural gas extraction, and traditional oil drilling.

“Fracking” is the process of extracting oil from shale, a sedimentary rock made of compressed mud and clay, from miles underground. According to Live Science publication, after drilling one to two miles vertically, the drill turns and drills horizontally for over a mile. A high-pressure combination of water, sand, and various chemicals to smoothen the process is then injected into the rock, causing the stone to crack and release oil and shale gas stored within the rock.

Fracturing has several economic benefits. The most commonly sighted positive or ‘pro’ of fracking is the lowered fuel prices nationally. According to Investopedia, fracking has lowered fuel and natural gas prices globally. While the fuel prices are the most well-known perk, that is just the beginning when it comes to upside of fracking.

Fracking has caused a massive boom in U.S. jobs. According to the Global Energy Institute, 1.7 million jobs have already been created working on deep oil extraction wells. This number has continued to rise as the unemployment rate continues to fall. If these numbers continue to rise at their current rate, there are a projected 3.5 million jobs in fracking that will be created before 2035.

Of course, there are many people who disagree with the process of fracking. One main concern is that the fracking wells will cause air pollution. However, according to the New York Times, fracking is actually responsible for less air and water pollution than coal mining.

Without fracturing, studies say that our oil wells will run dry in the next 30 years. The hunt to renewable energy is important, but while energy companies search for a non-oil energy source, the world will continue to use oil as a primary source for energy.

Power transformer stations are highly dangerous to untrained personnel. If these areas are safe enough to be near the public, so is fracking.

Chain link fences and regulations are enough protection to keep the public safe from transformers within an arm’s distance of major roads. If such high-voltage stations are presumably safe, then fracking stations are also safe.

If Proposition 112 passes, fracking will become less common and less wide-spread. Shutting down fracking stations will only cause loss of jobs and resources for Coloradans. Companies will become less likely to establish stations in Colorado, as 85% of land will become off-limits, and our economy will feel the effects. Vote no on Proposition 112; don’t set Colorado back.