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Colorado residents confused over fracking debate, petitions not helping

Zach Koppang | Shale Plays Media

Colorado’s fracking debate has slowed in the legislature with hopes of minimizing the conflict between residents and the oil and gas industry. A recent story broadcast by National Public Radio paints a portrait of the individual residents that aren’t faced with the issue’s immediacy and how they’re often left scratching their heads about the facts. Mostly though, they’re wondering why they’re being confronted by multiple signature gatherers while trying to go about their errands.

The four proposed oil and gas ballot measures represent the different sides of Colorado’s fracking debate. Two of the proposed measures are backed by environmentalists while the other two are supported by the industry. Residents are frequently being approached with questions about being registered to vote and are then quickly inundated by information espoused by volunteers who support one side of the issue or the other.

Grace Hood for NPR reports:

Among the hassled Colorado shoppers is Veronica Canto, a registered independent from Denver. On one day, she was approached by signature gatherers three separate times while visiting the downtown 16th Street Mall.

“They come up and out of nowhere. You’re like, uh, man,” says Canto, who works in education and says she hasn’t had a lot of time to research oil and gas development.

“The only reason I thought about fracking today, for like the two minutes after, maybe, they left, was because they had asked me,” she says.

Some people, like those who work in real estate, view themselves as being closely linked to the oil and gas industry. Others, however, are left with more questions than answers after being asked for their signatures. Canto, for instance, hasn’t made up her mind and intends to examine both sides of the debate before deciding which issue to support.

Click here to read or listen to the full story from NPR.

Related: Colorado Democrats avoid fracking fight

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