The Sierra Club’s national “Beyond Natural Gas” campaign has a Colorado-specific chapter that has involved itself in local coalitions and campaigns supporting anti-fracking ballot measures. The Sierra Club has worked with Americans Against Fracking, Local Control Colorado, and Food & Water Watch to push for both local fracking bans and a statewide ballot measure campaign to restrict fracking.
Role in Colorado Debate
Though it’s only gathered less than $1000 so far, the Sierra Club has registered an issue committee in Colorado to advocate for statewide ballot measures restricting oil and gas development. While environmental activists complain they are underfunded, the Sierra Club’s national organization has a war chest of over $79 million that it can use to push its anti-fossil fuel agenda.
The chapter has also sent a letter to Governor John Hickenlooper with its requirements for new anti-fracking legislation, urging the governor to allow already-passed local fracking bans to stand.
Sierra Club’s many millions are also being used to support a local fracking ban in Loveland, Colorado. The lead organizer for the Loveland campaign, said:
We’re already seeing Sierra Club involved in the Loveland campaign….They’ve come out and announced they’re endorsing the Protect Our Loveland effort. So yeah, they’re involved, and it’s no surprise to me.
Flip-Flopping on Natural Gas
The Sierra Club wasn’t always opposed to the use of natural gas in Colorado. In 2010, the Sierra Club praised legislation passed by Colorado’s legislature that transitioned the state from coal to natural gas as a “model for state legislatures across the country.”
Shortly thereafter, the Sierra Club reversed course and began its “Beyond Natural Gas” national campaign. In an editorial slamming the Sierra Club’s reversal on natural gas, the Denver Post pointed out even more hypocrisy, noting that “between 2007 and 2010, the Sierra Club was so on board with natural gas that the organization took $26 million in donations from the industry.” The Post’s editorial board further stated, “The Sierra Club ought to be cheering the move toward cleaner natural gas, not condemning it because it’s not a perfect solution.”
Flat Earther Label
The Sierra Club’s staunch anti-fossil fuel stance has earned the ire of state legislators. One Colorado representative criticized the organization’s anti-science stance on fracking in testimony before the Colorado Air Quality Control Commission, saying:
The true flat earthers in the American energy debate are the extreme environmental groups who make wildly exaggerated claims about the climate impacts of greenhouse gases, while at the very same time doing everything in their power to stop natural gas development — the energy source that is actually reducing all emission types, including carbon.
Flat earthers, thy name is the Sierra Club.
Colorado Air Quality Control Commission, don’t be party to this war on rural Colorado. Don’t be swayed by the flat earthers in the Sierra Club and Conservation Colorado. Find balance, trust the science. Use your common sense.
To learn more about the Sierra Club’s national chapter, view the full profile here.