There isn’t just one radical environmental group trying to stop energy development in Colorado—there are dozens. And they’re typically not grassroots activists concerned about their communities. Powerful national and international big green radical groups that are funded by wealthy foundations and celebrity activists have joined forces with millionaire U.S. Congressman Jared Polis (D-Colo.) to form a number of coalitions in favor of kicking energy development out of Colorado.
Coloradans for Local Control
Coloradans for Local Control (not to be confused with the similar-sounding Local Control Colorado) is the activist group most closely aligned with U.S. Rep. Jared Polis. The group is supporting nine potential ballot initiatives dealing with hydraulic fracturing or localities’ ability to regulate fracking within their boundaries—and each ballot measure lists Caitlyn Leahy as the primary proponent. Leahy is reportedly Polis’ fundraising and events coordinator. The amount of communication and coordination between Leahy and Congressman Polis is currently being scrutinized.
Coloradans for Safe and Clean Energy
To actually advocate for these anti-fracking ballot initiatives, Coloradans for Local Control is funding an issue committee, Coloradans for Safe and Clean Energy. The only contribution to the committee has been from Coloradans for Local Control—a single $1.45 million contribution.
The only expenditure made by the group so far has been to a public relations firm, Ridder Braden Inc., also known as RBI Strategies and Research—$1.3 million for “air time.” Victor Ridder happens to be the registered agent for Coloradans for Safe and Clean Energy. In other words, Coloradans for Local Control is using its front group, Coloradans for Safe and Clean Energy, to funnel an anonymous contribution from a single wealthy donor to a PR firm for anti-fracking publicity. (Perhaps it should be named One Wealthy Donor for Local Control.)
Local Control Colorado
To further complicate this web of coalitions, Rick Ridder—the President and Co-Founder of RBI Strategies and Research—is the spokesperson for Local Control Colorado (LCC), another group involved in the fight to ban fracking in Colorado. How much he and his firm are personally profiting (if at all) from his work on these anti-fracking campaigns has yet to be determined.
Local Control Colorado is a coalition that’s dominated by Washington D.C.-based Food & Water Watch and Frack Free Colorado—another coalition backed by out-of-state wealthy radicals. Other members of Local Control Colorado include:
- Citizens for a Healthy Fort Collins
- Our Broomfield
- Protect Our Loveland
- Our Longmont
- Boulder County Citizens for Community Rights
- 350 Colorado
- Citizens for a Healthy Community
- Pikes Peak Alliance for the Future