According to reports, massive flooding across Colorado over the last week is wreaking havoc with the state’s oil and gas infrastructure as cresting rivers and heavy rainfall submerged drilling and storage facilities, allowing the release of fuel and toxic chemicals.
The human toll of the floods—as well as widespread damage to roads, bridges, and communities—has dominated headlines, but as Grist’s John Upton has documented, the impact on the state’s fracking and oil infrastructure has gone widely ignored by media outlets.
As Upton reports:
Click Here: Fjallraven Kanken Art Spring Landscape Backpacks
The industry has shut down operations in all of the major flood zones, but they say making accurate assessments about the extent of the damage, or the kinds of chemicals that may have been released will be impossible until the waters fall and proper inspections can be done.
According to the Denver Business Journal:
But as Gary Wockner, director of the Clean Water Action and Clean Water Fund in Colorado, told The Coloradoan, the delay is a key part of the problem. The industry, with so much of its drilling operations occurring within designated floodplains, has no way to prevent these disasters from occurring. Wockner, according to the newspaper, “would like to see new floodplain regulations passed restricting oil and gas development in floodplains — namely, pushing oil and gas development farther from the banks” of vital rivers and streams. Beyond that, he would like the gas industry to disclose the contents of the fracking chemicals they use and demands better emergency measures in the event of future disasters.
The damage to the fossil fuel industry across the state strikes a terrifying irony for those commenting on the relationship between global warming and the kind of flooding Colorado is seeing. With climate change experts saying the flood is a 500- or thousand-year event, they point out that the industry is not immune from the destruction its activities help generate.
As Upton writes: