Colorado

Colorado Democrats Field Extremist Anti-Fracking Candidates

Campaigns

In at least three Democratic primary races to be decided on Tuesday, candidates taking extreme positions on hydraulic fracturing are on the ballot. Candidates in Senate District 35 and House District 12 have taken positions on hydraulic fracturing, also referred to as “fracking,” that put them well outside the mainstream of not only Colorado in general, but also the more moderate wing of the Colorado Democratic party, as represented by Gov. Hickenlooper.

Costilla County Commissioner Crestina Martinez is running to represent Senate District 35, which consists of much of southern and southeastern Colorado. Martinez has been endorsed by the Colorado Progressive Coalition, and received a $1,000 donation from the BlueFlower Fund — a group known for supporting women who take the most extreme liberal positions on abortion and environmental regulations. Martinez has been endorsed by proponents of burdensome regulations on fracking. In May, Martinez was endorsed by Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar, one of the nation’s top fracking opponents.

In House District 12, Angie Layton and Mike Foote are competing for the Democratic nomination.

While claiming on her website to be a normal mom in a tough economy representing the so-called 99 percent, Layton has loaned $25,000 to her campaign –  an amount more than double what she has raised from donors according to campaign finance reports.Layton earned her stripes as an opponent to traditional forms of energy production by opposing Xcel energy and the Commanche III coal plant, and boastson her campaign website of her opposition to hydraulic fracturing.If elected to the General Assembly, Layton vows to oppose any efforts to allow fracking to continue in Colorado.

Mike Foote, a former Deputy District Attorney, is also an opponent of fracking in the state. In a recent article in the Independent, Foote asked the Oil and Gas industry to prove a negative, insisting they “prove to the community that what they are doing is safe.” Foote offered little in the way of evidence showing fracking to be unsafe.

The far left positions held by Martinez, Layton, and Foote on fracking are more extreme than the positions of more moderate Democrats like Gov. Hickenlooper. Hickenlooper recently spoke out on the hysteria being pushed by the anti-fracking coalitions, saying the concerns are “way off base in terms of the reality of the situation.”

Hickenlooper went on to reference his own experiences with fracking as a geologist, saying, “There have been tens of thousands of wells in Colorado that have used hydraulic fracturing to increase their productivity and we can’t find anywhere in Colorado a single example of the actual process of fracturing that has polluted groundwater.”

Follow Aaron Gardner on Twitter: @aaron_rs

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