Anti-energy activists delivering petitions to Denver city officials.
Source: Don’t Frack Denver Facebook
A coalition of anti-energy activists – whose goal is a “moratorium on fracking in Denver city limits” – attempted to persuade the Denver City Council and mayor’s offices to support their agenda by presenting petition signatures that they claim show support for their cause from the “Denver community.” Yet, a review of the petitions shows that many of the signers are not residents of Denver…or even Colorado.
According to the Denver Post, a Greenpeace press release proclaimed that nearly 2,000 people have indicated their support – either through signatures or by posing for photos. From the Post’s coverage of the release:
“We believe that the current Denver community and our future generations have the right to clean water, clean air, and to a protected quality of life,” Greenpeace campaign coordinator Michael Gately said in the news release. “We stand with Denver residents in asking local officials to represent those who put them in office by keeping fracking out of our community, and in doing so protecting our health and well-being.”
But an Energy In Depth analysis of the signatures, obtained through an open records request, shows that out of the 2,000 supposed Denver residents Greenpeace claims to be standing with, nearly 400 signatories came from outside the City and County of Denver. Some signatures on the petition come from as far away as Auckland, New Zealand, Calgary, Canada and Salisbury in the United Kingdom. Additionally, the packet delivered to local officials includes nine blank signature pages.
The Denver Post also took notice of this trend, noting that the page of signatures shown to the reporter by activists doesn’t actually include any Denver residents:
“Interestingly, while the petition language (see image above) says the signers are Denver residents, not one of the nine listed on the page shown to me lists Denver as home. They live in St. Paul, Minn., Boulder, Santa Fe, Aurora, Glendale and Fort Collins.”
This is not the first time anti-energy activists have attempted to misrepresent public support for their agenda. In fact, as EID has previously pointed out, Food & Water Watch – a Washington, D.C.-based organization behind the Don’t Frack Denver campaign – once delivered 44 empty boxes of supposed anti-fracking petitions to North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory’s office. The Governor’s spokesperson was quoted in local coverage of the stunt:
“Today’s petition drop-off is nothing more than the 44 empty boxes that this left wing group showed up with — a stunt trying to deceive the media and public,” Ellis said in a statement from the governor’s office. “Unlike this extreme political group, the governor’s office cares about the environment and we will devote our time to cleaning up and recycling the mess of empty political props that were left behind.”
Photo: WNCN News
The misleading petition delivered to Denver public officials is just the latest desperate media stunt by anti-energy activists like Food & Water Watch, which is running a losing campaign to ban oil and gas development across Colorado and nationally. This latest move may be an attempt to reboot a campaign whose launch in February led to a Denver Post editorial proclaiming “Denver should ignore fractivists,” but it appears that they still have a long way to go.