By Troy Hooper
Wednesday, February 01, 2012
About a dozen local twenty-somethings waved signs reading “Keep Our Water Pure,” “Rig Free For You And Me” and “Stop Frac’ing Colo” that television cameras carried live when Shaun White twisted and tumbled through the air on his way to his fifth consecutive men’s snowboard superpipe victory.
The ESPN Winter X Games provided an ideal venue, the activists said, to educate an extremely large and youthful crowd about fracking — a method of extracting natural gas and oil by breaking rocks with a pressurized mixture of fluids. The protestors specifically sought to raise awareness of the threat of drilling in the nearby roadless area of Thompson Divide and energy plays on the other side of the Elk Mountains in the North Fork Valley.