Week 4: Current Event/ Reading

Coloradans Resisting Extreme Energy Development (CREED) is a CO environmental group that has proposed 11 ballot measures to the legislature Tuesday to change Colorado’s constitution to restrict or ban hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

There are many environmental issues in Colorado, the biggest being fracking. Colorado is believed to be home to the estimated world’s largest oil reserve that is within reach and to another oil reserve that is believed to be home to over 2 billion barrels of oil. Colorado provides one of every 50 barrels of oil in the US, as well as holding vast reserves of natural gas. 

The environmental group, Coloradans Resisting Extreme Energy Development has pushed back the ballot measures since early December. The measures include everything from  delaying the permitting process for companies looking to frack, to regulations giving local governments the power to regulate fracking, and even a straight ban on all fracking activities. Banning fracking would provide more tax money for the state to use towards other things, with 2011 collecting $114.9 million in taxes. U of Co-Boulder study showed that a ban would see a 95% reduction in all oil activity, and a drop in the state’s economy, as well as loss of 93,000 current jobs. One study estimated the creation of 213,000 jobs with fracking (American Petroleum Institute).

Reading: Desert Solitaire:

Edward Abbey is exactly the man we should have focused around when discussing wilderness. He has a very strong connection to desert environments, feeling more comfortable in the wild with no other humans than being around his own kind. Desert Solitaire highlights two different seasons in the Utah desert, spring and winter. The idea of a whole bunch of nothingness is incredibly appealing to Abbey.

  • Appreciates “deep dead stillness of the canyon.”
  • Gives the canyon a voice, declaring it will be “grateful for our departure” describing how minuscule and the small amount of impact we would ever have on the plants, animals, and landscape.
  • Abby gives a sort of spirituality embodiment within nature, especially with the Delicate Arch, in the Arches National Park-“A something that happened and will never happen quite that way again.”
  • He gawks at the beauty within the Delicate arch, deducting that nature put these harmonious statues to cause humans to realize how the world is much larger than just our lives. The rock, sunlight, wind and wilderness create a strong hatred for the constant exploitation of nature.
  • He claims that the Park Service has made  Glen Canyon too accessible to the public, causing tourists to over explore Lake Powell.
  • It was truly emotionally to see that the visitor’s register was up to 15 thousand tourists, because the Rainbow Bridge is thought to be untouchable wilderness.
  • He enjoyed the Rainbow Bridge for it’s remoteness, geological oddities, and level of access.
  • Without registering it, Abbey is constantly ragging on today’s American capitalist societies, about hideous cities and towns, “constant petty tyranny of automatic washers and cars and TVs.
  • Edward will never give up the yearning to continue with adventure, especially when he took a risk being separated from camp in the Havasu Canyon. He slid from mud pit to mud pit in the darkness, not knowing how deep or dangerous the one after the next would be.
  • His most exhilarating and possibly satisfied point in the book was “Fatal. Death by starvation, slow and tedious. For I was looking straight into an overhanging cliff on a pile of broken rocks eighty feet below.”201. Even though there can be harsh conditions in the wild, won’t it be worth it to have explored before the stress of human existence has became simply too much?
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