Activists drown out Hickenlooper at March for Science

Chants from anti-fracking activists nearly drowned out Gov. John Hickenlooper’s remarks at today’s March for Science in Denver. The rally was part of a global day of activism calling on elected leaders to fund scientific research and take its findings seriously.

As soon as the Governor took to the stage in Civic Center to address a crowd of thousands, a group of at least a dozen protesters marched up the steps with anti-fracking signs and banners, chanting, “Frackenlooper, don’t frack our future.”

Event security attempted to remove the protesters from the stage but most remained, partially blocking the crowd’s view with large banners.

Hickenlooper, who was introduced to both applause and boos as having “endeavored to make Colorado the most pro-business state with the highest environmental and ethical standards,” upheld the message of the March for Science.

“Science doesn’t need to be political, and politics doesn’t necessarily need to drown out other voices,” he said, through the chants. “I think the agenda that we’re facing in Washington now is trying to prevent science from getting the facts in the first place, and they’re looking at an unprecedented rollback of laws to protect our air and water.” He spoke about the importance of funding climate research and upholding the Paris Climate Accord.

Amplifying their voices with bullhorns, protesters then chanted, “Science says fracking kills.”

Watch video of the entire speech here.

Hickenlooper, a former geologist for the oil and gas industry, has been questioned about his commitment to climate action since rolling back the pioneering statewide climate plan set by his predecessor. Former Gov. Bill Ritter’s plan called for a reduction in state greenhouse gas emissions, using a 2005 baseline, by 20 percent by 2020 and 80 percent by 2050. It also urged investment in clean coal technologies, created an agricultural carbon offset program and made it mandatory for big polluters to report their emissions. Hickenlooper’s climate plan significantly scaled back those goals and has been criticized for being vague and unsubstantial.

Image: Activists pose on the stage in Civic Center Park before Saturday’s March for Science. Many of the same people took to the stage during Gov. Hickenlooper’s remarks later in the day. Photo by Kelsey Ray.

6 COMMENTS

  1. He also actively supports the oil and gas industries plan to increase fracking in Colorado. Local communities that have democratically voted to ban fracking have been sued by the oil and gas giants along with the Hickenlooper administration forcing this anti-envimental practice down their throats and increasing activities that are conducive to the very climate change he pretends to be opposed to. It was nothing more than an attempt to greenwash his image today.

  2. Governor Frackenlooper is a big oil guy…Proof of which is now in the open…Colorado has been sold out by these big business people..Especially those republicans in our state house, who continually try to take the power of governing away from us…Blue Dogs Suck as mush as any republican in our congress…this is what Dark Money has done to our democracy…the Koch brothers are part of the oligarchy, and they must be fought and defeated in every place they are found…they are the enemy of our nation, and of our State…

  3. When faced with a possible hostile crowd, many politicians choose to stay away from their constituents, but Hickenlooper came out and spoke.I was at the rally. And while the anti-fracking protestors did disrupt the Governor, it was only for a moment. The Governors mic was turned up, and the protestors ran out of steam.
    I am not sure where I stand on fracking, but the majority of the crowd cheered his pro-science message, the protestors were ‘booed’.

  4. Except science says that fracking is safe. What a heap of hypocrites. They only support science when science supports their political agenda.

  5. Some commenters here mistakenly think that rights are subject to mob rule and that this country is (supposed to be) a democracy. Sharing the same zip code as a property owner doesn’t give you a claim on their rights. Also, their use of that property, despite repeated misinformation, in no way violates the rights of others.

    The fracking detractors should put their $$$ where there mouths are. Buy the oil and natural gas rights if you don’t want those resources extracted.

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