Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Erie mothers, children descend on Encana headquarters with anti-fracking petition

Group also heads to Gov. Hickenlooper's office at State Capitol to ask for governor's support

Updated:   05/22/2012 01:16:33 PM MDT

DENVER -- A small group of mothers and children from Erie marched into the building that houses Encana Corp.'s Denver headquarters this morning to present a petition signed by 21,000 people demanding that the energy giant forgo a planned natural gas drilling site near elementary schools and an adjoining neighborhood. 

The intention of the group, known as Erie Rising, was to ask Encana USA President Jeff Wojahn face-to-face to abandon plans to extract gas at the Canyon Creek well site near Red Hawk Elementary and Erie Elementary schools. 

But the group of 10 was told by Encana spokeswoman Wendy Wiedenbeck that Wojahn was out of town. She said she would hand off the thick stack of signatures to the president when he returned. 

Erie Rising then ventured over to the State Capitol to present a copy of the petition to Gov. John Hickenlooper but were told by an aide that he was not in either. 

Preparation for drilling at the site, just north of Erie Parkway and west of County Line Road, is expected to begin later this week and drilling itself should begin sometime after June 4. 

Jen Palazzolo, an Erie resident and one of the group's leaders, said despite the lack of any high-level encounters in Denver this morning, the fight to derail drilling at the Canyon Creek site is far from over. 

"We're not defeated yet -- even if they begin operations," she said outside the governor's office. "We're going to continue to ask them to abandon this site right up until they put the drill in the ground. It's a completely inappropriate industrial activity in a residential area." 

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