Starbucks' 'Been There' coffee mug in Colorado sparks controversy

Three drill rigs are used to represent Colo.
Posted at 3:41 PM, Jul 18, 2018

DENVER — Starbucks' latest Colorado coffee mug captures the mountain essentials, but one element included on the cup is brewing up — what some might call — a venti-sized controversy.

The Seattle based coffee giant recently unveiled its "Been There" mug series dedicated to U.S. states and what makes them great.

The blue Colorado mug features the Rocky Mountains, Colorado River, a tent, bicycle, and skis with poles. But it's three drill rigs also placed on the mug that's sparking controversy.

"An oil rig doesn't represent Colorado. Colorado is colorful; Colorado is scenic. An oil rig represents the dangers to our children's health; it represents the dangers to our air; it represents the dangers to our landscape," said Susan Noble, who co-founded North Range Concerned Citizens, which represents Commerce City residents opposed to drilling near neighborhoods.

The outrage has also boiled over on Twitter, where people used the hashtag #oilandgasisnotcolorado to call out Starbucks.

"I want to ask Starbucks to redo the mug and put symbols on the mug that actually represent Colorado," said Noble. "They put three oil rigs on this mug and one skier and one river rafter. I mean, please! That is not Colorado."

The Colorado Oil and Gas Association, which represents the industry, offered a different perspective on the mug. They said oil and natural gas is woven in the fabric of Colorado's history and has been for more than 150 years.

“With over 100,000 workers and an annual economic impact of more than $31 billion, we are a central pillar of our state’s economy. Like Palisade peaches, Coors beer, and the Denver Broncos, local energy production is about as Colorado as it gets," COGA president Dan Haley said in an email.

Denver7 has reached out to Starbucks for comment about its decision to include oil rigs on Colorado's mug, but as of Wednesday afternoon, had not yet heard back.