Colorado is ground zero for the fracking debate. That’s why national environmental groups are turning their attention and their checkbooks to the state, trying to gin up support for several anti-fracking ballot initiatives that would advance their radical agendas. But rather than being up front about their support and agendas, these groups are resorting to deceptive practices to trick Colorado voters into siding with them.
For example, knowing that its radical agenda would be unpalatable to Coloradans, big green’s out-of-state agitators founded the “local” group Frack Free Colorado (FFC). In addition to receiving generous support from out of state funders, FFC shared Water Defense’s Manhattan-based press secretary Ana Tinsely up until last year. And FFC’s leader, Russell Mendell, worked for Water Defense as recently as 2012 and didn’t even move to Colorado until that year.
That’s not to say that FFC doesn’t work hard to maintain the fiction that it’s a grassroots group. Following Water Defense’s bragging about the role it played in helping to pass several Colorado fracking bans in 2013, FFC deleted all mentions of Water Defense from its website. FFC also keeps quiet about its other outside Colorado founding members, including Food & Water Watch, Fractivist.com (run by a Sierra Club operative), and Patagonia, a California clothier. Unfortunately for big green’s agenda, Coloradans know the difference between grassroots and astroturf.
Big green groups are also deceptively using the Trojan Horse strategy to advance their radical agenda. Rather than present their true motivations – a complete ban on responsible energy development – they advance the notion of mere “local control.” (Surely they have been told that this doesn’t sound as radical to Coloradans, who – as poll after poll shows – overwhelmingly favor responsible energy development.) Of course, local control is anything but: City, county, or statewide bans violate one’s local property rights, the sanctity upon which Colorado and the country was founded.
This is a dangerous game that big green is playing. As its deceptive practices are exposed, it risks real backlash from Colorado voters, who hate deceptive groups pretending to be from Colorado even more than they hate outside groups themselves.