COLORADO – In response to recent and mounting climate-related adverse events including increased wildfires, Safe & Healthy Colorado, a grassroots, volunteer-led coalition of Coloradans working toward a safer, healthier Colorado, has initiated a new campaign today spotlighting the role of oil and gas fracking in fueling the flames of wildfires and other impacts of the climate crisis on our communities. 

The coalition is demanding a just transition and phase out of new oil and gas fracking permits by 2030, and has launched an open letter calling for a managed economic transition away from oil and gas production with an emphasis on protecting workers and communities. 

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s most recent assessment from last year, there is “high confidence” that human-influenced rising temperatures are a direct cause of the extension of the wildfire season, increased drought, and decreased precipitation in the southwest United States. Polling released earlier this year shows that 82% of Coloradans consider climate change a serious problem, with 98%  saying wildfires that threaten homes and property are a serious problem here.

Emissions from oil and gas production and combustion are the #1 source of both our state’s contribution to the climate crisis and our ‘severe’ ozone air quality issues along the Front Range,” says Micah Parkin, Executive Director of 350 Colorado and founding member of Safe & Healthy Colorado. Coloradans are already experiencing the dangerous impacts of the climate crisis, including worsening wildfires, increased drought, floods, temperature extremes, and detrimental impacts on industries such as winter sports and agriculture. We need to begin phasing out new permits for oil and gas fracking to protect our health and safety.”

According to the National Interagency Fire Center, as of last summer, at least 32,860 acres of land have burned in at least 337 wildland fires across the state. Colorado’s air quality due to wildfire smoke as well as oil and gas pollution have meant increased levels of smog, with Colorado facing its worst air quality in over a decade. Ozone levels have also spiked, accelerating the need for stronger protections at both state and local levels in order to best protect Colorado communities from adverse health impacts.

“The overwhelmingly negative impacts of fossil fuel production on the health and wellbeing of our communities, particularly our children, are unacceptable,” said Barbara Donachy, MPH, Physicians for Social Responsibility Colorado Board of Directors. “Whether directly from toxic emissions or indirectly from greenhouse gas emissions leading to our increasingly hot summers and raging wildfires, we all suffer. We must change our direction and change it as quickly and fairly as possible.” 

The new #FrackingFuelstheFlames campaign spotlights that when oil and gas are fracked, extracted from the ground, transported and combusted, massive amounts of harmful pollution, including toxic chemicals, ozone precursors, carbon dioxide, and methane leak into the atmosphere. Colorado has already paid between $20 billion and $50 billion in climate-related disasters since 1980, with most of that damage occurring since 2010. 

Dozens of environmental and community groups representing hundreds of thousands of Coloradans have urged stronger climate-related action from Governor Jared Polis on a number of policy issues, urging the Governor to declare a climate emergency and take swift action with state regulatory agencies to ensure greenhouse gas emissions reductions and climate goals are reached. 

Visit  to learn more.

Here’s how you can take action:
  1. Click here to sign onto an open letter of support for a just transition and phase out of new oil and gas fracking permits by 2030. (Note: this open letter of support will be shared periodically with Colorado leaders as a call for action.)
  2. Share this video with your network on social media. 
  3. Send an email to the Polis administration and your legislators to call for a phase out of fracking permits by 2030. If time allows, personalize the email by sharing your story about how climate-driven wildfires, drought, floods and extreme weather have impacted your life and ask that our leaders stop fracking from fueling the flames of the climate crisis.
  4. Write a letter to the editor or opinion piece on the connection between wildfires, climate impacts and fracking oil and gas drilling. Sample letter and instructions on how to submit are found in this #StopFuelingtheFlames Letter to the Editor Toolkit