Carolina Drillers vs. Denver Frackers: The Only Game That Matters

by Rachael Prokop

February 5, 2016

Will you be watching the big game on Sunday? So will we, but when we hear about North Carolina and Colorado, football isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. In both places, residents are fighting a very important game to take back their state from the oil and gas industry.



In Colorado, the oil and gas industry has been pitted against local residents for years, as fracking operations and oil spills threaten the water supply. In North Carolina (and neighboring states), the Obama Administration may open the Atlantic Coast to oil exploration for the first time in 30 years, hitting the ocean with everything from loud seismic blasts to an inevitable oil spill. All this at a time when it’s clear that fossil fuels must be kept in the the ground to protect our people and planet from worsening climate change.

We decided to put a spin on the usual pre-game chatter and show you a little bit about what the oil and gas industry is up to in these two states. Go team!

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BOB: Are you ready for the big game? You know, the one between the Carolina Drillers, fighting for the right to search for Atlantic oil, and the Denver Frackers, who are THRILLED for the opportunity to shake up their state and warm this planet. We’re Bob and Joe, here with a little pre-gaming chat.

JOE: It’s going to be an exciting match today, folks. The Carolina Drillers are still waiting for that big win. We could see that win today, the refs are from DC and they don’t seem too impartial …

BOB: Well, the refs are friendly with the Denver Frackers too. That team just pours money into their state elections.

JOE: Let’s face it, this game is brutal. They’ll do anything for those fossil fuels. But I think Carolina really has a chance this year. They’ve had some hurdles–a lot of people in their state really don’t care for them. Seems that the local residents don’t want all the noise in the oceans … Some nonsense about whales.

BOB: And the risk that drills are going to cause a spill and the locals will be left with the mess. Not to mention all that carbon heating up the atmosphere.

JOE: Well spills are always a risk in drilling, Bob. Oil spills happen every day and we’re all still here, playing this great game and making a pretty good salary. The locals should be happy this team wants to come into their area. Just plop a few drills into the ocean and tourists will be flocking in!



BOB: That’s right, Joe. Heck, an oil spill is just like money washing up into your backyard! Who wouldn’t be excited about that?

JOE: The Frackers have been in Colorado for a long time, but they’re still having some issues with their home state. A big win today could change everything for them.

BOB: They played boldly in 2013, spilling a whopping 5,250 gallons of oil into the South Platte River.

JOE: I tell ya’, people should have just sold their tap water. They could all be millionaires.

BOB: But this year has been a bit more sedate. Just last week they were supposed to have a big federal auction, get more oil… But the whole game was delayed.

JOE: This keeps happening, all over the U.S. Oil League! It’s what, the fifth delay this year?

BOB: Something like that. It’s not been a good year for oil. Alaska Shell was supposed to be the winner, and they just up and quit mid-season. Now we’re here, with Denver struggling and newcomer Carolina trying to get its sea legs and turn on those seismic booms. They’re hungry for that Atlantic oil … I expect they’re going to play pretty hard today.



JOE: About those booms… Whales are pretty loud themselves, right? Are they really going to be disturbed by a few airguns?

BOB: Well it’s an awful lot of airguns, Joe. It’s a pretty amazing play… they shoot off a big burst of air at the seafloor and the sound reflects back to the team up above so they can hear where to find pockets of oil and gas…

JOE: Like a dolphin, making that eeee-eeee-eee noise to find fish!

BOB: Exactly. Like the loudest dolphin you’ve ever heard. Like a dolphin that could kill a fish by eee-eeeing at it.

JOE: So it’s going to scare some animals away. I’m sure they can find another coast to live on for a while.

BOB: And when the fish leave, all the Atlantic fishermen can work on the rigs instead! It’s a win-win situation.



JOE: This is similar to the Frackers’ signature move, isn’t it? The booms?

BOB: Only in that it’s kind of explosive. But the fracking move is designed to break apart stone and get the gas out. Like smashing a candy bar to get at the gooey filling.

JOE: No whales down there.

BOB: Ha! That’s right. But it’s a quick and dirty move. It’s LITERALLY earth-shaking.

JOE: I can’t wait to see them try this tonight.

BOB: Me too, Joe. Oh look, the teams are lining up on the field! Carolina looks great, they have a real beach tan going on … and look at Denver’s arms from all that drilling. Two powerful teams. Someone is going to get hurt out here.



JOE: Wait, what are they doing? The coaches are chatting up the refs, handing them something… Wait, are they BOTH bribing them? In public?

BOB: Aw man, not this again.

JOE: Yep, looks like each team gave all the refs a big wad of cash. And now they’re both getting big shiny oil drill trophies without even breaking a sweat.


BOB: Well, if DC isn’t giving them a challenge, we’ll have to head out to their home turfs. The real test is going to be if they can get past the thousands of people who oppose them. You’ve got 105 Atlantic communities that are standing in the way of offshore drilling. That’s nothing to sneeze at.

JOE: 2016, here we come! Should I bring my kayak? Is that still a thing?

Football fans, we’re calling on YOU to face off against the Drillers and Frackers! Click here to tell the Obama Administration to keep fossil fuels in the ground!

By Rachael Prokop

Rachael is an Online Campaigner with Greenpeace USA.

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