Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Erie, at the epicenter of oil opposition

By Steve Lynn April 20, 2012

April Beach, Wendy Leonard, Jen Palazzolo
and Angie Nordstrum, in a field across from
their children's elementary school where
 oil-well drilling is planned.
ERIE — Angie Nordstrum can't stop worrying about the natural-gas wells planned a few hundred yards from Redhawk Elementary School, where her 7-year-old son is a student. 

"We have this wonderful little suburban utopia here and then all these gas wells infringe upon the community," Nordstrum said.

Nordstrum isn't alone in her worries. Anxiety over natural-gas drilling pervades this town on the Weld and Boulder county line. Some residents believe that hydraulic fracturing, a drilling technique that involves pumping a mixture of water, sand and chemicals to release gas from shale, has poisoned their air. 

They point to air-quality studies conducted in Colorado that have shown the presence of pollutants associated with oil and gas development. Others dislike the traffic and noise and what they say are unsightly wells.

Fracking operations began setting up in...

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