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Opposed to fracking

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Dear Editor:

I am opposed to fracking. I do not believe that there is a safe and responsible way to produce oil and gas and I support the proposed legislation that will permanently remove a large portion of the previously proposed sale of leases in the North Fork Valley. As a former board member and a member of Citizens for a Healthy Community (CHC) I am proud of the role that CHC played in the discussions and negotiations with the county commissioners, Senator Bennet's staff and other stakeholders in the valley, which resulted in a proposal for legislation.

To support the proposed legislation is neither a vote for fracking nor a surrender of principles. Support for the proposal is reasonable. It will limit our community's exposure to further fracking threat. The land that will be leased under the terms of the proposed legislation is land that is available for leasing today, regardless of any swap. In the event that these leases are developed as part of the swap or as a result of a future purchase, the challenge for the community with the help of CHC will be to mitigate the negative impacts to the greatest extent possible. In the meantime, if the legislation succeeds, most of the land we seek to protect with the North Fork Alternative Plan will be withdrawn permanently; leaving CHC free to continue to work for additional protections in the years to come.

James Schott
Paonia

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