Monday, October 12, 2015

Stop The Frack Attack National Summit and Action Opening Speech - Denver [extended version]

Shane Davis
Stop The Frack Attack
Denver, CO 2015

Hello Stop The Frack Attack Network:  

Welcome to Colorado! My name is Shane Davis. I recognize many of you – and to those of you who don’t know me ---we are simply friends that haven’t met yet.

I am one of the many advisory council members for Stop The Frack Attack.  I founded – a data mining organization that has and continues to assist communities and organizations all across the United States and overseas fight fracking. It is an honor to be speaking to my peers and mentors today.

No doubt there are oil and gas employees here. They are easy to spot. Welcome them and be cordial, but be firm with your conviction and invite them to join you on the right side of history.
Thank you for coming to Colorado for the 3rd Annual Stop the Frack Attack Summit and Action Day! One of our many purposes is to ‘Escalate the fight between communities and the oil and gas industry.’

I want to give Robby Diesu a big ‘thank’ you for his dedication and brilliance putting this event together.  Stop The Frack Attack is an umbrella coalition which is comprised of a meaningfully diverse group of people coming together with great respect for one another and share many common causes.

Since the last national summit in Dallas in 2013, communities have won fracking-related victories in California, Colorado, Maryland, New York, Texas and many other places across the country. Oil prices are the lowest they’ve been in a decade and the fracking-driven oil and gas industry is in the midst of a severe decline. In combination, these factors suggest the nationwide fracking movement is at a turning point. Might we say a social and energy revolution?

This is a turning point where communities can collectively gain the upper-hand in the fight to protect their health and welfare against a malevolent oil and gas industry. The goal of this summit is to help make that potential a reality.

There are movement leaders from 30 states in this room today. That’s 60% of the Unites States that have come together to support our border-less movement and stand shoulder to shoulder against the oil and gas industry and corrupt politicians.  Residents from AK, CA, CO, DC, FL, IA, ID, IL, KY, MA, MN, MT, NC, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TX, VA, WA, WI, WY are present in this room today. In addition, leaders from several tribal nations, including Navajo, Ojibwe, Arapahoe, All were front and center teaching workshops, speaking and facilitating actions.

We are a United State   ---   of Resistance.

What an incredible collective of solidarity and wisdom we embrace in this room. Each one of you have your own unique battles, but are fighting the same fossil fuel pollution empire imposing its harms against the poor and marginalized -- and against our ecosystems’ and ultimately destroying our climate.

The fracking energy industry is so intoxicated and bloated by greed that it has moved into our backyards, near our school playgrounds, our hospitals, universities, our daycares, our state parks, our National grasslands, and has its sights on the rest of our public lands across America unless we stop them.

My involvement as an activist against fracking in Colorado has been a long, long road. I have worked with so many great organizations locally and nationally. One of my greatest memories was working with the late Dr. Theo Colborn – founder of the Endocrine Disruption Exchange. She was an astonishing scientific activist. I worked with Theo for three years and am proud to be one of the lucky THOEites.

She said: “deep inside everyone, there is something bigger and stronger than we are aware of at this time that cannot be suppressed by man-made chemicals—something ---- that will prompt some very exceptional leadership to step forward with the courage to turn off corporate control of the government and the world -- and take back for society what it needs to thrive.”

Theo’s scientific research was at the tip of many spears across the globe. It was Theo’s work that propelled many of us to stand up and fight where we were needed. I did a lot of research for Theo and I hope to pass along my knowledge to others.

It was in 2011 after reviewing tens of thousands of oil and gas documents that I realized the fracking industry’s federal operating exemptions had stripped our civil rights to safety. The federal exemptions the fracking industry lobbied, created and enjoyed were violating our civil rights and we needed to tell the world and find the ways to reform them immediately.  We could not protect ourselves from the fossil fuel pollution empire. We still can’t.

That day, in 2011, I realized this was not just an anti-fracking movement any more, but a jaw-dropping civil rights movement of epic proportion.

All of you have committed to resist this toxic fossil fuel invasion and have unified as a ‘movement without borders’ in the pursuit of preserving humanity and justice. And we will take back our civil rights and fortify our communities with morality and law that favors people not corporations.  And favors nature and not man-made pseudo profits.

Thank you all for your absolute tenacity. Thank you for your unwavering leadership and personal sacrifice in the face of monumental odds.
·        It is our duty to assist our neighbors and affected people.
·        Dismantle and reconstruct laws that favor a healthy vibrant planetary existence for all creatures that can thrive without dirty, ugly, toxic fossil fuels.
·        And it is our duty to protect those laws we reform into perpetuity for the preservation of all  future generations.

We are not protestors, we are protectors.

We are protecting our water and our lands. We are protecting our air and climate. We are protecting all ecosystems on earth that have the right to thrive; we are protecting our climate -- from annihilation from the Fossil Fuel Pollution Empire.

We are protecting our civil rights.

Why are we protectors? Because we love.We love humanity and justice and we will protect them.

What is the most important quality for a revolutionary to possess? --- It is --- LOVE - Enersto Che Guevara

·        Love of humanity
·        Love of all creatures on Earth
·        Love of justice and truth
·        LOVE is the most important quality for a revolutionary to possess.

We have an energy revolution at our feet and we are the boots on the ground that this revolution wants to be.  We are the Energy of Change. And from this day forward it is our goal to change the energy we have been enslaved into with viable forms of healthy energy democracy in every community across America.

Che also said: ‘A real revolutionary goes where he or she is needed.

So I thank you all for coming here --- where you are needed. And we will come to you when you need us.

Thank you for standing  shoulder to shoulder in the streets opposing those who are harming us, protecting our rivers, our air, our wildlife, collecting signatures in 100 degree temperatures. You went where you were needed.

Thank you for educating communities, counting votes, agreeing with our differences, working tirelessly and into the night. Thank you for spending time in jail simply for protecting something you love, missing your child’s school event, spending time away from family and friends, not taking vacations, thank you for your sufferings. You went where you were needed. You are a real revolutionary.

LOVE is the most important quality for a revolutionary to possess and you are here because you love many things dearly and want to protect them.

Our borderless movement is now spanning across the globe and into Paris, France this December where I will be speaking at the Global Energy Summit with Jill, Jenny and Robert: also advisory members of Stop the Frack Attack Coalition. We will join our brothers and sisters from all over the world to talk about the state of global energy affairs, its failures and much needed solutions.

The Texas Solar Energy Society has reported: One day of the sun’s energy that reaches the Earth, can power the energy needs of the entire planet for 27 years.

In Colorado it takes about 3 weeks for the oil and gas industry to obtain a drilling permit. It takes a solar company four months or more to wade through a sea of paperwork and permitting before they can even get started. Permitting delays for solar companies have put some companies out of business. The state regulations and ridiculous delays for solar energy implementation are preventing job creation, and business revenue for Colorado. I am certain this type of domination is happening in some of your states too.

As we know there are many kinds of cleaner, perpetual energies created by the forces of nature and our intelligence. We are smarter than a fossil fuel and can power our energy needs with energies like: solar, wind, geothermal, ocean power, bioenergy, biofuels, solar-hydrogen, graphene batteries derived from plants like hemp, and so more…

In fact – Henry Ford and Rudolph Diesel never intended their combustion engines were to run on fossil fuels.  Ford and Diesel’s engines ran on bio-fuels, vegetable and hemp oils. All of these were and still are --- superior in cleanliness and production than the  toxic fossil fuel industry.  It was the empire of greed, the fossil fuel industry that forced us into a system of enslaved energy consumption. They still force us to buy what they have to sell.

Back then in the 1930’s during the ‘glory days’ the fossil fuel empire owned vast mineral rights across the nation and purchased more and more, knowing they had secured over a century of fossil fuel energy consumption and commercialization and profit from fossil fuel based products all around the globe.

They have a monopoly.  When you pull your combustion engine car up to a gas station, you get three choices of poison, poison, or more poison to fill you tanks with and pollute our airspace. It’s an illusion of choice my friends.

But as we know, our fossil fuel based addiction comes with a very high price. And that price is passed along to communities and the environment.

Here are a few statistics on how the state of Colorado has allowed the fossil fuel industry to behave

·        55,000 active fracking industry wells

·        80,000 + abandoned wells where nearly half are awaiting re-entry

·        Millions of gallons of toxic industrial waste water are spilled and never recovered each year

·        Weld County has over 25,000 active wells with a 40% groundwater contamination rate. Meaning: the industry and the state of Colorado have miserably failed to regulate the oil and gas industry in a manner consistent with public health safety and welfare. What other industry is allowed to contaminate our groundwater with incredibly harmful chemicals and still have the legal authority to operate? NONE – just the fracking industry

·        In 2013 over 16 billion gallons of liquid waste was created by the fracking industry in CO alone.

·        There is an ocean of fracking industry toxic waste water under the surface of Colorado

·        The State has a groundwater monitoring program that it touts as proactive. But in fact, the state is scrambling to locate what community the toxic fracking industry fluid migrations are headed.
·        In 2012 I discovered a setback loophole that stated any previously completed well could be re-entered and – re-completed regardless of distance to occupied structures.

·        There is an arbitrary and capricious permit and waiver system that allows the fracking industry to not have to abide by nearly any rule if its harms their profitability.


Back in 2012 and 2013, five Colorado cities—Boulder, Broomfield, Lafayette, Longmont and Fort Collins—all enacted long-term moratoria or bans. Boulder County also enacted a long-term moratorium.

So far:
·        Broomfield’s long-term moratorium was challenged by the Colorado Oil and Gas Association and lost in court and then the Broomfield City Council was granted a “suspension” of their appeal of the case pending the outcome of the Colorado Supreme Court case.

·        Lafayette’s ban was challenged by the Colorado Oil and Gas Association and lost in court and then the Lafayette City Council did not to appeal the decision.

·        Longmont’s moratorium was challenged by the Colorado Oil and Gas Association and lost in court and then the City Council appealed the decision.

·        Fort Collins’ long-term moratorium was challenged by the Colorado Oil and Gas Association and lost in court and then the City Council appealed the decision.

·        The City of Boulder’s long-term moratorium was not challenged and remains intact.

·        Boulder County’s long-term moratorium was not challenged and remains intact.
·        The Supreme Court has combined the two cases from Longmont and Fort Collins and is expected to start hearing briefs by the end of 2015.

Colorado’s Governor John Hickenlooper (better known as ‘Frackenlooper’), has gone to war against good science and anyone opposing the fracking industry. He is suing communities for protecting their health, safety and welfare from the harmful fracking industry’s operations.  Governor Hickenlooper purposefully omitted grassroots communities in stakeholder meetings and saluted the AstroTurf and GASSROOTS organizations as a replacement. He is nothing but the fracking industry’s tool.

Colorado is ground zero where the principles upholding the rights of small and large communities to sovereignty are put to the test day by day, minute by minute. We are fighting to protect what we love.
REASON? Our legal framework has been commandeered and altered to favor those who changed it.  As a protector’s sign in the streets read: ‘Our legal system is not broken. It was built that way.’ Now that we know the system was created to favor corporations and not our lives, what shall we do? What would a revolutionary do?

The Fracking Empire has reportedly spent tens of millions of dollars in Colorado alone against grassroots efforts. We are simply protecting ourselves against human rights violations caused directly from them –the fracking industry. We spent tens of thousands of dollars against their tens of millions and we proved their money was nearly worthless. We beat them 5 out of 5 and the 6th ban was short by only 900 votes.

We have reached a new stage in history of resounding sacrifices, suffering, and misery for the peoples of America and abroad, who are now facing and resisting the colonial system of imperialism once again.  This time it is in the shape of the political and economic fracking Industry Empires and their rule over global fossil fuel energy consumption

Fifty plus years ago Che Guevara, the revolutionary humanitarian, fought selflessly against similar ruling forces that were harming local communities. Che’s personal sacrifice was in curing the poor and the marginalized people’s maladies caused by political injustices. He was a physician first, a doctor who cared deeply for others. Che asserted his moral obligation and went to the source of the problem and the solution was to defeat the political systems that caused that ‘social injustice’ ---> which caused those endemic maladies of poverty and misery.

Che’s personal sacrifice was to end suffering and misery in communities and establish a system that would provide communities with the power to protect themselves and provide a healthy fair system for people to thrive safe from imposing oppression.  Fifty years later we are faced with a very…….. similar monster. It is called the fracking industry and the corporate capitalists.

LETS REMEMBER THE FIRST EARTH DAY IN 1970: Over 20 million people participated. It was referred to as: The day the Earth became our first priority. It was the day designated to honor the Earth.

Earth Day was also thE day our government turned away from the environment. In part, because the environmental community had only established a single day out of the entire 365 days in a year to focus on. This was perfect for corporations.

We should honor the Earth every day.  Why is it not simply respected as ‘a way of life?’
Earth Day 1970 achieved a rare political alignment, enlisting support from Republicans and Democrats, rich and poor, city slickers and farmers, tycoons and labor leaders. The first Earth Day led to the creation of the United States EPA and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts.

As 1990 approached, a group of environmental leaders asked the Earth day lead organizer to organize another big campaign. This time, Earth Day went global, mobilizing 200 million people in 141 countries and lifting environmental issues onto the world stage.

Now the fracking industry is exempt from standard EPA regulatory authority. The very protective laws created by Earth Day. So now every Earth Day our protective laws are meaningless in the wave of fracking exemptions.

The climate is the world’s stage now. Everything that affects the climate is kicked back to us to an eventual increasing point of no return. We are in a climate crisis and a parallel political crisis. Activism must reach the point of no return as well in order to have long-term effects on the changing system that was built broken.

Fracking is a last ditch effort to extract the remaining fossil fuels on planet earth. The risks of fracking for tight oil and shale gas are far outweighed by the insincerely hyped abundant, affordable domestic energy we’re getting in return. It’s just not smart. And it’s just not true! Period.

Fracking is an ugly technology and it is anti-progress towards healthy perpetual energy. We are smarter than a fossil fuel and have the intellect to transform global energies.

This Stop The Frack Attack Summit will provide you with some of America’s brightest minds and leaders all faced with the same or similar issues. We will have the unique opportunity to learn from one another and accelerate our knowledge base thus accelerating our ‘energy of change’ movement. The information we need to evolve into healthy energy is here.

Some of the great minds you won’t want to miss are:

  •               Dr. Ingraffea dubbed the ‘godfather of fracking.’ His exquisite knowledge of fracking      engineering has been at the front of many of our battles.

·        Wilma Subra: is a chemist who provides technical assistance to citizens concerned with their environment by combining technical research and evaluation.
·        Dr. Glenn Miller is a Professor in and former Chair of the University of Nevada, Reno Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Science. His research focus is the transport and transformation of organic and inorganic compounds.
·        Chris Hedges our keynote speaker:  is an American journalist, activist, author, and Presbyterian minister. He is currently a columnist for Truthdig, a senior fellow at The Nation Institute and a contributing author for OpEdNews. He has reported from more than fifty countries, and has worked for The Christian Science Monitor, NPR, Dallas Morning News, and The New York Times, where he was a foreign correspondent for fifteen years (1990–2005) and one of a group of eight reporters awarded the Pulitzer Prize for coverage of global terrorism.

There are so many more great minds speaking this weekend so please check the schedule often so as to miss the workshops and other meetings that interest you.

Governor Hickenlooper will no doubt turn this summit into a pointless oratorical tournament, instead of solving the serious problems that face Colorado. But that’s just what he does – he as avoids truth.  I still have an open invitation to Governor Hickenlooper to a respectful and intelligent debate. I am
amused in knowing he is on the wrong side of history and has brought a human and environmental catastrophe to Colorado. We will demonstrate this in the ‘WALK OF SHAME’ during our rally in the streets on Monday.

We must become the government we want to see.

Our moral indignation and information against our enemy is not enough to compete. We will have zero influence on political empires unless we get into the state and transform it, and become it.

We must rise to meet a new life and demand the unrestricted right to self-determination and to the Independent development of our own communities. We have the right to democracy of all kinds including energy democracy.

Let me be clear, we are protecting humanity and justice. And we will win -- not through violence. We will win with sheer tenacity, intelligence and solidarity. We will win this moral fight with non-violence.

We cannot have a political revolution until we achieve a social revolution first so we must get to work.

Knowledge is not enough. I think we have to take the knowledge to the people. Let us help them learn what they need to know and what they need to do to decide for themselves the future course of society by empower communities with the legal ability to protect themselves and their environments against the toxic profits of polluting, human right violating capitalism. Let’s organize a global teach-out, let us share our knowledge to everyone in all global communities.

If I could ask all those who can stand – please stand.

Please shake hands with everyone around you. Get to know the brilliant minds next you. They are your network and affinity group.

You represent boldness in the face of overwhelming odds. Solidarity is our greatest weapon. The burning energy of fractivists world-wide will outlast all the UNnatural oil and gas the industry could ever extract.


Like Che, we are facing herculean obstacles in our pursuit to halt the harm caused by the empire of pollution. It is our moral obligation to fight for a purpose higher than self and – and that – in itself is a revolution.

You are all on the right side of history!

You are the Energy of Change – so let’s get to work

Shane Davis

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