That’s Fracked: Can a Colorado School Combat Environmental Racism? | The Daily Show

Colorado. It’s a state where you can ski the Rockies, smoke legal weed and evidently live your life right next.

Colorado. It’s a state
where you can ski the Rockies, smoke legal weed and evidently live your life
right next to a fracking site. But how close is too close? Well, Desi Lydic reports. LYDIC: I’m Desi Lydic,
and I’m in Greeley, Colorado, where an oil and gas company
decided to frack right next to a middle school. Extraction Oil & Gas
plans to build a 24-hour facility
near the Bella Romero Academy. LYDIC:
Look, fracking is harmless unless, of course,
you’re touchy about toxic fluid being pumped into the ground or wells
that occasionally explode or the claim that fracking can make your water
lit as hell. The school is now working
on a new evacuation plan. Yeah, that’s in the event
of a leak fire or explosion at that site. LYDIC: Okay, that’s not
the type of fire drill most parents expect. So, why would you put that
anywhere near a school? I met up with Bella Romero
parent Patricia Nelson. My son Diego goes
to Bella Romero Academy, and for the last
year and a half, we’ve been working
on stopping the installation of 24 wells behind his school. -24 wells?
-Yes. -Not just one.
-No. 24. Legally, how close
can the site be to your school? Current setbacks are 1,000 feet
from the school. Oh, 1,000 feet. That’s, like, a mile away. It’s a quarter of a mile. LYDIC: As a journalist,
I don’t listen to what I hear. I needed to see this distance
for myself. So that’s 1,000 feet. NELSON:
Yeah. LYDIC:
Wow, that’s fracked. Colorado,
I love how chill you are, but with this,
you’re being way too chill. This is a huge problem,
and uncovering it means I might finally win
a Pulitzer Prize. And, of course, save the kids
at Bella Romero, o-obviously. So I sat down with Tim Estep,
a lawyer who’s suing the state for exposing students
to such a clear health risk. Living near a fracking site
has been correlated with nosebleeds, headaches, asthma, low birth weight, congenital heart defects, cancer, leukemia. I-It can be overwhelming. You know, the question is
if it’s appropriate to put… (coughing) Sorry, you’re just
really stressing me out. With that many health risks, how the hell did these wells end up next to Bella Romero? A few years back,
this fracking site was slated to go next
to Frontier Academy, a charter school
just a few miles down the road. But when the parents of
Frontier Academy fought back, the company abandoned drilling
and decided to move the wells to a more convenient location, Bella Romero. I don’t get it. If it’s not
okay to drill next to Frontier, why is it okay
next to Bella Romero? I don’t think something has
to be intentional or malicious to create an environmental
or racial justice issue. No, there has to be some reason
why these two schools would be treated so differently. Well, Frontier has
77% white students, whereas 83% of the students
at Bella Romero are Hispanic. It’s like they both have
students. -Mm, and…
-And teachers. They both have teachers. 90% of the students
at Bella Romero -are eligible for… -They’re
both about the same size. free/reduced-price lunch. What do you think it is? English is a second language in a majority of homes
around that community. I could be crazy, but this might have something
to do with race. We also have
a small refugee community, and I think it’s very difficult
for them to speak out, even if they wanted to. LYDIC: Of all the pressures
to move these wells– economic, geographic– does anyone else think
it’s a little strange that they ended up
next to the school with some of the highest numbers
of low-income Latino students? Environmental racism.
That’s a thing, right? You’re right. That is
the big issue in this case. Great, but you’re winning
the lawsuit, right? You got ’em by the oily balls? -Unfortunately…
-No, don’t say that. Don’t say that, Tim. The law doesn’t really, uh, have tools
to account for that. If you’re discriminated against,
uh, when trying to buy a house, that’s housing discrimination. Uh, you know,
there’s nothing comparable in where you site oil
and gas development. Well, Tim, maybe the law
should expand its definition to include environmental racism, because environmental racism
is just as important as all the other… racisms. ♪ ♪ Did you see that? Nailed it. Look, this story isn’t about
my inevitable Pulitzer. It’s about a town
where fracking has run amok, a town that desperately needs
a flyover journalist with the courage
to say what residents have already been saying but louder and on camera. And guess what– it worked. Right after we filmed
this story, the company stopped drilling
behind the school. And that’s a happy ending. ♪ ♪ Wow! Desi Lydic, everyone. (cheering and applause) Desi, this is, uh… This is truly amazing. Because of your reporting, they actually stopped fracking
near the school. Give it up for Desi
one more time. That’s… -(cheering and applause)
-That’s amazing. Thank you. Yeah, no, no,
it is true, Trevor. I am amazing. Look, all I did was I saw a problem,
I heroically stepped up, and I fixed it… -ish. What-what do you mean,
fixed it-ish? Um, well,
they are gonna stop fracking, um, until they start again
next summer. -(clears throat) -Wait, they’re
gonna start again this su– You said you solved it though.
That’s-that’s why I said -we’re gonna play the piece.
-No, yeah, yeah, yeah. Well, I did, I did solve it, but then the oil company
unsolved it. See, Trevor, you’re just asking
me about it at the wrong time. See, if you would have asked me
a few months back, it still would be solved. So, really, really, it’s on you. I’m sorry? Apology accepted. I hate to break it to you,
but I don’t think there’s gonna be a Pulitzer
Prize for journalism now. Well, no. Definitely not
for the oil companies, but I still think I have a shot,
you know? The Pulitzer committee
will be sliding into my DMs -any day now. -I don’t think
that’s how it works. Desi Lydic, everyone.

100 thoughts on “That’s Fracked: Can a Colorado School Combat Environmental Racism? | The Daily Show”


    At 2:52, I kept on thinking to myself "please don't be because Romero's kids are colored please don't be there cuz the other school is majority white please don't be drilling specifically there for the most cliche low rent version of villainy…GOD-F%!KINGDAMMIT!!"

  2. FFS! It can have something to do with race, it can have something to do with income and socio-economic status!
    Attributing everything to race is catchy, but it misses the big picture.
    It is money and all about money!
    If the community is full of NFL players and NBA players who can sue the oil companies, this wouldn't be happening.
    please do not abuse the word racism and make it meaningless.
    This is an American issue, not a race issue.
    Calling it a race issue just makes it more divisive.

  3. If you listen and look closely at the video it says The company decided not to frack for oil DURING the school year! Not Cool! This is the poorest attempt at humor I have seen fro what otherwise is one of my favorite things to watch after a heard days work.. Trevor, come on now…

  4. The racism in America is what TRULY shocked me when I first went there. To say it's disgusting is an under-statement – especially in the south, but honestly – EVERYWHERE!

  5. I'm only about 3 minutes in but this sounds remarkably like the Dakota Access Pipeline. The white people didn't want the pipeline near their neighborhood so they complained and the company infringed on Indians instead…

  6. Mount Pleasant Area Jr Sr Highschool in Mt Pleasant, Pennsylvania has a fracking well even closer than 1000 feet.

  7. Environmental racism that is fracked up. So glad they did this report. Now people know and can voice their opinions maybe it will stop them for good.

  8. I know most people will disagree with me but she is kind of tiring. All she does is hyper extreme sarcasm in all these fucking interviews

  9. I'm a Coloradan. In November 2018 there was an amendment on the bill to increase the distance drills could be sited from homes, schools, and hospitals. The proposed increase was from 1000 ft to 2500 ft. Wow, a whole half a mile away. What an inconvenience, right? But the oil and gas industry poured money into getting people to vote it down because they said it would cause people to lose their jobs. I even had a dude COME TO MY DOOR to tell me not to vote for the proposal. Colorado kids deserve to be safe from this obvious health risk. There is another proposal on the bill for 2020. I hope Coloradans can break free from the garbage propaganda from the oil industry and keep our kids safe.

  10. All important things aside, will someone please inform millennials (i.e. & e.g. the fellow beginning at 1:48) that tie-clips are properly worn 'three fingers' above one's belt. Otherwise, Desi does her usual spectacular performance.

  11. In Parachute Colorado we weren't rich enough to fight the oil n gas and State from putting 20 wells next to our middle school. 25 wells next to our housing community. They ran the gas lines 2' from the houses..

  12. This was pretty much: People complained with enough influence and they had to move, the other people didn´t complain with enough influence, until the media came which had enough influence to make them move. To spin everything about racism is counter productive, you don´t see the real reason and focus more and more into a lie.
    Not everything is becouse of racism. Most racism claims are in reality becouse of wealth.


    i know the corporate sell out is in full swing ever since Bush was president, but how the hell could they go this far?!?
    at this point the egg-heads that allowed this crap should be held for treason and crimes against humanity.

  14. These bastards should set up shop just a measly 1,000 down the street from Betsy DeVos' pad, and set how many feathers that ruffles in Donald's Swamp.

  15. To Extraction Oil & Gas, and all of the other energy firms engaging in this livid practice anywhere on the planet:
    Frack You!

  16. Notice how they put these chemical plants, and factories near low income areas. Rich people dont like smelling chemicals 24 hours a day, or drinking contaminated water

  17. Environmental Racism? Is that a joke? Convenient how they didn't show a map or any actual distances, or else their entire segment would have fallen apart. The original site was less than 350' from the "white" school. The new site is more than 1300' from the "hispanic" school. Trying to argue that the pad was moved because of "racism" is outrageous when you do just 5 minutes of journalism research.

  18. It's ridiculous to me. Republicans are so pro life, they fight hard to end abortion. They then vote to continue fracking next to schools. As long as it's not near those white kids because they bitched too much. If your school might blow up and your water supply is flammable, why even have children? Fuck, even adults are doomed in that situation. There is NO such thing as PRO-LIFE. People are PRO-MONEY.

  19. We had a vote on the distance they could drill:,_Minimum_Distance_Requirements_for_New_Oil,_Gas,_and_Fracking_Projects_Initiative_(2018)

    But a group of people opposing restrictions had a misleading name, "Protect Colorado," and part of their campaign had them pretending to be environmentalists. (They also had the largest budget – go figure.)

  20. Hmmm looked like a Patterson UTI drilling rig ….. shoulda passed that law during the midterm that didn’t allow drilling companies to drill that close to neighborhoods

  21. Those kids might not live a full life because of the poison they are ingesting on a constant basis. I lived in Greeley. It’s primary hispanic and literally every other city is white. Sound familiar?

  22. Go america…i love it when you guys does things that harm yourselves…it so funny that this happens in a first world country who likes to talk about human rights in othwr countries…who living in a shit hole country now?

  23. So they won't frack while school is in session; students come back from summer vacation possibly being subjected to contaminated water and all of the health risks that result from this practice. And each year it will get worse. Amazing to me how deeply greed corrupts.

  24. You are both insane and a liar..WHAT toxic chemicals are pumped into the ground please.. we developed the first fraccs in the early 70s in texas.. i was there.. im a biochemist.. we used water, sand , frozen liquid nitrogen and a barrel of crude oil..refined of course.. 1 was cleaner than the oil coming out of the ground.. now then.. what other chemicals have been used in 50 years.. im waiting. .oh thats right .. ive heard someone used a gallon of dawn dishwashing soap.. do you know how many millions of gallons go down the sink every year.. ive got 3 phds in science and 2 medical degrees.. ive worked for nasa..what dangerous chemicals have ever been used in still waiting.. 50years later.. more toxic chemicals are in the ground already than ever put in by us evil oil companies.. yall are insane.. we work in the congo now.. theres no way in hell , id ever do something environmentally WRONG.. even in deepest darkest afrikka.. and 99.99% of my colleagues wouldnt either..
    doc johnny
    sicily and congo

  25. Example # 89,330,294,332,074 showing that white americans are racist scumbags in general (9,999/10,000 not all). So much evidence…LOL.

  26. What to expect in a country whose president babbles about clean coal (while thinking of it as a washed up kind of ore)?
    Finland relies entirely on renewable sources and northern Europe will stop petrol engine car sales in a few years. But US is 100% on his petrol guzzler pick-ups. If only US policy on fossil fuels and environment could be confined within its borders when it comes to consequences….

  27. Look up URANIUM TAILINGS used for housing on reservations. Native journalists have reported on this since the '80s. Maybe the '70s…. Or earlier. Plus the woman looks more straight up "native american" than "hispanic". Maybe it was changed so "americans" will give a s***t.

  28. All the tools that r for fracking aren't from co and dont care. They will frack right in our backyards next if we dont stand up

  29. I have witnessed fracking companies working rapidly, or at night to bury pipes used for fracking near roadways. Burying the pipes under farm fields.
    Fracking has such a negative connotation around here that the fracking companies are using names that hide the business and practices which obfuscate the actions they're taking.
    An educated populace understands the horrific damage fracking does to soil water and life.
    If fracking is so "good" why all the secrecy and dishonesty?
    PS: race is a lie. We are all humans.

  30. I remember when fracking started in Colorado in the late 70's. They might be different. But I hated it then and I hate it now.
    The offal is awful.
    And the consequences to poor (and "those people") aka humans is… Criminal


    The use of the word ''''''race''''' is dead science and this concept has been defunct academically…..Western Academics. All Americans '''should not'''' have to suffer fracking during our lives….should not….that's our dream.

  32. When we also look back to Columbine, Sandy Hook and so many more. When we also look at the student debt crisis, it seems our children, the future of the nation, is under attack. At the least, it's for sale.

  33. The idiots among the DJT fans who don't understand the consequences of fracking should be forced to live in the fracking areas. However, it is just too bad, that they won't comprehend what is going on until they die…

  34. Here we go with the race card again 2:55 . No way it could be the fact that Frontier is a charter school or that Frontier Academy has students in wealthier families. But yeah couldn't be anything other than race. What a cut and dry conclusion Daily Show.

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