Coloradans Take Over Fracking Conference

by Rachel Rye Butler

August 25, 2016

Well that’s embarrassing... Here’s what happened when Coloradans took over the CO Fracking Conference Twitter Livestream.

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper (D) and the Colorado Oil and Gas Association didn’t expect to have to fight for the stage at their own pro-fracking conference. But thanks to Coloradans and climate activists on Twitter, that’s exactly what happened today.

At the conference, Greenpeace noticed that there was a giant screen set up right next to the stage streaming live tweets. So we spread the word about the opportunity for Coloradans to have their voices heard during Gov. Hickenlooper’s time in front of the Colorado Oil and Gas Association.  

COGA2016

Here’s what happened, right up until a tweet about puppies finally caused the Colorado Oil and Gas Association to shut down the live feed.

First, people called out the Governor’s hypocrisy… with good reason.  

 

Why would Gov. Hickenlooper speak at an oil industry conference? Maybe the $137,000+ per year in campaign contributions he took from the oil and gas industry is part of the answer.

Onstage, Gov. Hickenlooper answered questions with Karen Harbert from the Chamber of Commerce and Al Walker, Chair and CEO of Texas-based fracking company Anadarko —which operates in Colorado. The Colorado Oil and Gas Association said they were being asked hard questions, but not hard enough:

Soon, the Colorado Oil and Gas Association started using their own feeds to try to cover up the voices of those pointing out how fracking poisons Colorado communities… and everyone noticed.

From the industry: 

And the response:

Even fracking filmmaker Josh Fox joined in the conversation.

And finally, the puppy tweet from a Gov. Hickenlooper spoof account that caused the live feed to be shut down. I guess there was just too much truth about fracking poisoning Colorado communities for the Colorado Oil and Gas Association to handle.

Rachel Rye Butler

By Rachel Rye Butler

Rachel Rye Butler leads the Democracy Campaign at Greenpeace USA. She writes frequently about people power, voting rights, and money in politics.

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