On Tuesday, voters in three Colorado cities approved bans on hydraulic fracturing. Citizen initiated petitions in Boulder and Fort Collins passed, which both impose 5-year moratoriums on fracking. The voters in Lafayette passed a complete ban. More than 76% of voters in Boulder voted in favor of that city’s moratorium; 55% of voters in Fort Collins approved that city’s moratorium; and 58% of voters in Lafayette supported that city’s complete ban.
In Broomfield, the moratorium failed by a mere 194 votes.
Each city is located on the Front Range of Colorado within the Niobrara Shale Play, which extends throughout Northeastern Colorado. The Colorado Oil and Gas Association spent more than $800,000 in opposition to the petitions. Despite these efforts, three out of four petitions were successful.
With the passage of these bans, anti-fracking groups backing these types of moratoria and bans will likely seek out additional cities to target for fracking bans, with the possibility of a state-wide ban finding its way onto the 2014 Colorado ballot. Despite the prolific oil and gas operations in the State of Colorado, Colorado continues to be ground zero in the battle over fracking.
Media coverage can be found here and here.