PCG volunteer sees environmental work as ‘moral imperative’
By Carol Carpenter
RMC Communications Team
Shane Davis, a Sierra Club member and busy, committed Poudre Canyon Group (PCG) volunteer for two years, believes he has a moral imperative to work on issues─hydraulic fracturing in particular─ that affect the environment. Not only does he believe it, he puts his convictions into action at every opportunity.
“I am a member of Sierra Club because I like being able to make measurable, positive change for the environment and help people everywhere,” Shane, a resident of Firestone, Colo., said. “Above all, it’s a moral conviction to do what’s right for your neighbor and the environment.”
A member of both the Rocky Mountain Chapter (RMC) and the PCG, Shane holds an impressive list of duty titles within the Club: RMC Information and Research Committee manager, RMC at large Executive Committee member, PCG chair, PCG Conservation Committee co-chair, and RMC “fractivist at large” (a name he chose for himself because of his strong interest in hydraulic fracturing).
Why does he do all this volunteer work, taking on so many job titles?
“Sierra Club is an organization that allows its volunteers to be democratically involved in addressing issues and taking action on them,” Shane said. “The Club also allows me to be creative and expand unique approaches that address an issue.”
Fracking top priority
His big issue is hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as “fracking.” It is considered by Shane and the Sierra Club to be a violent mining process that dislodges natural gas deposits from shale rock formations and is known to contaminate drinking water, pollute the air, and cause earthquakes.
Shane, who lives close to 75 oil and gas wells near his Weld County home, has a personal stake in this matter. He considers fracking to be one of the single most destructive operations to the environment and human health, not only in the present, but for generations to come.
“The hidden impacts are so numerous and harmful that I consider the current and future state of affairs an environmental and human health crisis of epic proportions,” he said. “I spend a lot of time organizing public presentations and outreach, and researching and investigating the adverse impacts of mining that uses hydraulic fracturing.”
Occasional unexpected victory
Sometimes his active and practically non-stop involvement with the fracking issue leads to an unexpected and rewarding victory.
For example, after spending more than a year investigating oil and gas wells in close proximity to residential areas in Colorado, he discovered a crucial legal loophole in the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission’s rules that allows the industry not to have to abide by a certain state mandate.
Almost needless to say, he was pleased to bring this important information to light. What does Shane see as his future Sierra Club goals? Will hydraulic fracturing continue to dominate his time and energy?
“I never disclose future battle plans,” he says only half jokingly. “Let’s just say that, in brief, I will employ various methods to prevent and mitigate harmful effects to the environment and human health caused by oil and gas development.”
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