350.org will use SB-181 to ban drilling, according to newly published ‘toolkit’ for activists

A national anti-fracking group has produced a new instruction manual for activists in Colorado, telling them how to use the passage of SB-181 to shut down oil and gas permitting at the local and state level.

The new effort, led by the Colorado chapter of New York-based 350.org, shows that the oil and gas wars will not end unless Governor Jared Polis publicly rejects the “ban fracking” and “keep it in the ground” agenda and senior officials in his administration approve new drilling permits.

The “community toolkit” produced by 350 Colorado coaches activists on how to pass temporary bans at the local level. The toolkit also links to a “talking points” document calling on Governor Polis, Attorney General Phil Weiser and the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission to “keep fossil fuels in the ground” and “stop issuing permits,” among other regulatory demands.

Meanwhile, a group with close ties to 350 Colorado – Colorado Rising, which pushed failed Proposition 112 last year – is claiming SB-181 authorizes a “no-holds barred” approach against the oil and gas industry, according to the Denver Post. And according to internal e-mails obtained by Western Wire, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is reviewing a statewide moratorium on new air permits for oil and gas facilities that was proposed by another environmental activist group.

Governor Polis promised the oil and gas wars are over, but now he needs to prove it. If SB-181 was about improving the way oil and gas is developed in Colorado, not shutting it down, then state officials must speak up now against 350.org and other ‘keep it in the ground’ groups,” said Rich Coolidge, Senior Strategist for Vital for Colorado.

These groups have no interest in tighter regulations to provide additional health and safety protections. They only support bans or de facto bans, which Colorado voters have rejected and were promised over and over again would not happen under SB-181 at the state or local level. If these groups are allowed to disrupt oil and gas permitting following the passage of SB-181, the Polis Administration and other supporters of the new law will be responsible for the economic damage this causes.”

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Vital for Colorado