By Mark Jaffe – The Denver Post – May 10, 2015
When Trisha Golding gets dressed up in business clothes, her two daughters say, “Mommy’s going to do oil and gas.”
After a driller proposed putting 19 oil and gas wells within 900 feet of the Greeley school where her older daughter attends second grade, Golding, 38, turned from stay-at-home mom into a regular at oil and gas hearings and meetings.
“This is not something I want to do,” she said, “but you want your children to be safe.”
Front Range moms who, like Golding, are worried about the impact of oil and gas drilling on their families, have been stepping up to microphones in local and state meetings across Colorado.
“These women have become reluctant experts on oil and gas,” said Matt Sura, an attorney who represents communities and homeowners in dealings with oil and gas companies. “They have taken the time to learn the issues, and they are slowly convincing people in state government, and in the oil and gas industry itself, that things have to change.”
And they are doing it without histrionics or predictions of environmental doom.
“I study facts,” said Shawndra Barry, 43, a Windsor mother of two third-graders. “I study the regulations. I don’t talk about health or water because those are things I can’t prove.”
Barry became involved in September, when she learned an oil and gas company had plans to drill wells in her rural subdivision.