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Anti-fracking group hopes to amend state constitution

By Dana Molina, Multimedia Journalist/Telemundo Anchor, dana.molina@krdo.com
Published On: Jan 06 2014 07:23:27 PM CST

Supporters and opponents continue debate over fracking practice.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -

Opponents of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, want to amend the state constitution to let local governments ban the practice. But supporters say there's money to be made, and not allowing it would hurt the economy.

Fracking involves injecting water, sand and chemicals into the ground to collect hard-to-reach sediments of gas and oil.

"It's an important technological development, and we need it," said John Felmy, chief economist of the American Petroleum Institute. He said fracking would benefit the economy.

"Developing oil and gas resources using hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling could create tens of thousands of jobs, improve revenue for the state government and provide energy security," he said.

Opponents say it just isn't safe.

"It pollutes the ground water, and it pollutes the air," said Lotus, member of the Colorado Springs Citizens for Community Rights and the Colorado Community Rights Network. "Even if there are a few temporary jobs created, it's not worth it."

The Colorado Community Rights Network is pushing for an amendment that would let local governments ban fracking.

"Communities have the right to say no to a major industry like this," he said. "There would not just be oil wells, oil and gas wells. They would also have processing plants, new pipelines, it would become an industrial area."

Felmy said efforts to ban fracking could be dangerous.

"You could effectively kill an opportunity for Colorado that they desperately need," he said.

The Colorado Community Rights Network plans to submit the paperwork to the secretary of state this week to try to get the amendment on November's ballot.

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