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This symbol on the Colorado ‘Been There’ Starbucks mug is brewing up controversy

One symbol on the “Been There” Colorado state Starbucks mug is brewing up controversy and debate on Twitter.
One symbol on the “Been There” Colorado state Starbucks mug is brewing up controversy and debate on Twitter. Twitter user @JaredRossi

A collectible coffee mug series featuring unique designs of all 50 states is brewing up controversy in Colorado.

And it’s all because of one symbol.

While the “Been There” Colorado Starbucks mug creates a blue-and-green mountainous scene with trees, a river, kayakers and wildlife, one symbol does exactly the opposite, a few Coloradans have said on Twitter.

That symbol is an oil rig, also called an oil drill, and it appears on the mug three times.

“Really @Starbucks ? You seriously put an oil drill on your Colorado Mug?” Twitter user Kristi posted to Twitter. She also wrote some hashtags, including #oilandgasisnotcolorado and #nomorestarbucksforme.

Some followed her lead and agreed that oil and gas is not Colorado.

“These mugs aren’t okay, Starbucks,” one person tweeted. “Oil & gas operations have been linked to higher incidents of cancer, respiratory issues, hematological issues, & low birth weight. Our beautiful lands & fresh mountain air make Colorado great. Oil & gas threatens that. Please remove the mugs”

“CO is a beautiful state represented by mountains, blue skies, and skiing,” Logan Cristen wrote. “Oil and Gas harms our kids and environment.”

“Starbucks, this isn’t Colorado!” Colorado Values, an account advocating for democratic policies, tweeted. “Oil wells?! O&G industry bought out your #ColoradoValues?”

Others, though, love seeing the oil industry represented on their collectible state coffee mug.

“Hey Starbucks I think this mug perfectly represents #Colorado!” Twitter user Jake Taylor posted. “Everything on here is something that makes CO great! #oilandgasISColorado #EnergyProud.”

“I’m not a history denier - Colorado is a state rich in natural resources,” Debbie Brown tweeted. “I’ll buy a mug today with my Starbucks order.”

The Colorado Oil and Gas Association told Denver7 that the industry is a “central pillar” of the state’s economy and has been part of The Centennial State’s history for more than 150 years.

“Like Palisade peaches, Coors beer, and the Denver Broncos, local energy production is about as Colorado as it gets,” the association’s president Dan Haley told the station in a written statement.

Earlier this year, the Associated Press reported that oil production in Colorado continues to increase.

Starbucks did not immediately respond to The Wichita Eagle’s request for comment regarding the mug controversy.



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