Vote Victory: Fracking Banned In Three Colorado Cities!

Search form

Vote Victory: Fracking Banned In Three Colorado Cities!

Vote Victory: Fracking Banned In Three Colorado Cities!
Thu, 11/7/2013 - by Keith Coffman
This article originally appeared on Reuters

Three Colorado cities have rejected oil and gas production work that relies on so-called fracking, unofficial election returns showed on Wednesday in a setback for an industry that won other battles this year in Democratic strongholds like California.

Boulder, Lafayette and Fort Collins passed measures with solid margins to suspend or ban the technique formally known as hydraulic fracturing. But a fourth community, Broomfield, about 12 miles east of Boulder, narrowly rejected a fracking moratorium.

In Fort Collins, near the growing Niobrara field, 56 percent of voters approved a five-year ban on fracking, despite a resolution its city council passed urging voters to reject it.

A dozen states including California have clear rules for fracking, but the practice is banned in New York and some think Colorado could be a battleground in the U.S. energy boom.

There is "possibility of a state-wide ban finding its way onto the 2014 Colorado ballot," said Paul Enockson, a lawyer with BakerHostetler in Denver who has represented oil firms.

Hydraulic fracturing, done after horizontal drilling, pumps pressurized water, sand and chemicals underground to crack shale rock to release oil or gas.

Environmental groups say fracking can contaminate water supplies, but the industry says it is safe and that boosting gas output will create jobs and help states replace dirty coal-burning power plants with ones fueled by cleaner gas.

"This election represents round one with many more rounds to come," said Tisha Schuller, president of the Colorado Oil and Gas Association (COGA), an industry group that opposed the measures.

"Boulder and Lafayette were nothing more than symbolic votes. Lafayette's last new well permit was in the early 1990's and Boulder's last oil and gas well was plugged in 1999," she said.

Court Battles

Colorado's daily output of crude oil has surged to around 182,000 barrels a day, but is still a scant 2.4 percent of total U.S. production, according to the Energy Information Agency.

Industry experts believe much of the best oil and gas deposits could be on federal tracts of land in the western part of the state that are not currently in production.

The municipal bans may clash with fracking standards the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission introduced this year that require wells to be located away from houses and established rules for noise, dust and chemicals.

The state's oil and gas commission grants more than 1,000 annual permits for hydrocarbon wells.

"The decision of whether or not hydraulic fracturing occurs in these Colorado communities may ultimately lie with the courts, where the city of Longmont is already being sued by COGA and the state of Colorado over its fracking ban, but at least for now, the people have spoken," wrote Gretchen Goldman, analyst at the Union of Concerned Scientists' Center for Science and Democracy.

Though environmental groups declared victory in a swing state, the gas industry has made inroads this year.

Prior to the votes in Colorado, Marty Durbin, head of America's Natural Gas Alliance, said more and more states were becoming convinced of the safety of fracking.

Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown of California, the world's 9th largest economy, signed a law in September that specifically allows it.

Originally published by Reuters

Article Tabs

whistleblowers, Jeffrey Sterling, James Risen, Operation Merlin, CIA whistleblower,

The mass media have suddenly discovered Sterling — after his conviction Monday afternoon as a CIA whistleblower.

Fast Track is far from a "done deal" in the United States, and foreign negotiators ought to be cautious before accepting provisions that will harm their population.

DEA spying, car license plate database, license plate readers

The ACLU warns that the scanning of license plates by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency is building a repository of all drivers’ movements.

liberation of Kobane, Kobane fighters, ISIS, Kurdish freedom fighters

This week, finally, Kobane has liberated itself from the grips of an ISIS siege with a fierce resolve, a commitment to revolution and a firm belief in the human values of freedom and equality.

The IMF – "It's Mostly Fiscal" – has been able to represent a globally united front for the interests of commercial banks, which have systematically seized control of local economies everywhere.

Powell Memo, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, total boycott, economic alternatives, worker-owned businesses, student debt, student loans, banking alternatives, move your money, Strike Debt, Rolling Jubilee

This is a strategic memorandum to all movement organizers, social justice organizations, and free citizens disgusted with a corporate state that has systematically extracted our wealth and resources while giving back nothing in return.

Posted 6 days 22 hours ago

The left-populist party headed by Alexis Tsipras is positioned to win Greece’s elections Sunday on a progressive platform to reverse austerity cuts imposed on the country over the past half decade.

Posted 5 days 22 hours ago

The pay ratio between the highest- and lowest-paid worker-owners in cooperatives is between 3:1 and 5:1, compared with a ratio of roughly 600:1 in traditional corporations.

Posted 6 days 22 hours ago
warrantless spying, NSA, illegal spying, Fourth Amendment Protection Act, OffNow coalition, Patriot Act, metadata collection, William Binney

Efforts to stop warrantless NSA spying are off to a fast start in the 2015 legislative session, as lawmakers in four states have already introduced bills banning material support or resources to any federal agency engaged in illegal spying.

Posted 6 days 22 hours ago

Five "unelected, unaccountable kings in black robes" are systematically stripping Constitutional rights from real, live human beings and giving those rights to corporations and a very small group of plutocrats.

Posted 5 days 23 hours ago

Britain’s colonial legacy is a living one – no one is born prejudiced, but in Britain all of us are born into racism.

US Public School Students, Poverty

The explosion in the number of needy children in the nation’s public classrooms is a recent phenomenon.

The pay ratio between the highest- and lowest-paid worker-owners in cooperatives is between 3:1 and 5:1, compared with a ratio of roughly 600:1 in traditional corporations.

Keystone XL pipeline, carbon emissions, tar sands, Oceti Sakowin people

The Oceti Sakowin people are mobilizing a resistance that could be the game changer in the fight to stop the proposed Keystone pipeline and help shut down the tar sand projects in northern Alberta.

Greek elections, austerity cuts, Syriza party, anti-austerity protests, Greek debt, Podemos party, Alexis Tsipras, Antonis Samaras

A small European nation is on the verge of standing up to financiers that are literally strangling its economic surplus and imposing draconian cuts in the same of austerity, as standards of living have plummeted in the past five years.

Sign Up