Broomfield Fracking Moratorium Victory Upheld

Fracking fluid.

Fracking fluid.

As the Broomfield Enterprise's Megan Quinn reports:

A Broomfield judge has upheld the results of the embattled Nov. 5 election.

Judge Chris Melonakis released his decision Thursday evening. In his decision, he said Broomfield acted in good faith when conducting the election and that the results should not be tossed out…

Though the election was far from perfect, it was not illegal, he said.

"The steps taken (by Broomfield) were a reasonable, if imperfect attempt to insure full extension of the franchise and prevention of voter fraud," Melonakis said in his ruling.

The biggest issue here was always the unusual razor-thin of the election, more than confusion with the first use of new residency rules passed under last year's House Bill 1303 or any other factor. The fact is, any time you have a hotly-contested question decided by just 20 votes, all parties with a stake in the outcome are going to push any circumstantial leverage they can find to tip the scales in their favor. Usual suspect Republican detractors of House Bill 1303 were only too happy to pile on–but today, Broomfield elections officials are the ones smiling.

The success of Broomfield's Question 300, however narrow, means that every one of the local moratoria and bans on hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," for oil and gas that appeared on municipal ballots in Colorado last year was passed. That fact stands in stark contrast to the insistence by the oil and gas industry that their opponents are a small activist "fringe." These are not statewide bans, but decisions by local communities to restrict a dangerous industrial land use within their boundaries. Attempts by the oil and gas industry, and even Colorado public officials, to marginalize this pushback are increasingly without rational basis. The next question is whether a statewide constitutional initiative to empower local communities to take the same action can pass. Again, not an unrealistic statewide "ban on fracking," but an endorsement of local control.

If these results are any indication, the answer is "yes"–and it's a political reality that can't be ignored.

13 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. davebarnesdavebarnes says:

    Dear Pols,
    Thanks for spelling the plural of moratorium correctly.
    Good to see that not everyone failed high school Latin.
    ,dave

  2. ModeratusModeratus says:

    I assume we can now count energy jobs along with gun industry jobs as jobs Colorado Pols is fine to see leave the state.

    Please, Hickenlooper, talk some sense into them.

    • Andrew Carnegie says:

      Mod,

      They wanted to lose another 500K jobs and raise the minimum wage as part of the "inequality" war du jour.  Only problem was the big O and dirty Harry could not get enough Dems to go along so they will have to get another subject for the latest progressive pogrom.  

      Perhaps its back to the war on women.

    • BlueCat says:

      I thought you righties were all for local control and against evil top down dictatorial Guvmint. Isn't that why Obama is a Nazi or something?

      • Ralphie says:

        Naah, they're not FOR anything.

      • JeffcoBlueJeffcoBlue says:

        Don't confuse them.

      • MichaelBowmanMichaelBowman says:

        I attended a fine Colorado public school where they taught me arithmetic.  I'm pretty sure that, given the state industry employs 29,421 people in total, AC's comment is mathematically impossible:

        They wanted to lose another 500,000 jobs….

        I'm pretty sure these moretoria and bans will do little to slow the rampant extraction of our states natural gas resources, nor materially impact their current labor force.  They just don't get to do it inside the city and/or county limits of local governments who challenge the industries asserted right to do so – and exercise their right to local control. 

         

        • Duke CoxDuke Cox says:

          The industry predeliction for vastly overstating their own importance was made evident when, at the recent AQCC hearings, State Representative Ray Scott claimed that oil and gas development was our "economic lifeblood".

          I was happy to point out to the Commission that O&G is only a part of the "mining" sector…which accounts for just 4% of our state economy. Hardly "lifeblood" status, but the realities of this world have never kept Rep. Scott and his fellow water carriers from "embellishing" the facts to suit their propaganda campaign..

    • DavidThi808DavidThi808 says:

      I think it's a trade-off we win. Let's say we completely shut down fracking. That would cost about 10,000 jobs. That's a hit.

      But in return, this is a place where more people want to live. We continue to grow the high-tech jobs here. That will bring in a lot more than 10,000 new jobs. So a net gain.

      And the jobs in high-tech tend to be less dangerous, nicer working conditions, and pay better.

      So I ask you, why are you against better jobs for this state?

      • MichaelBowmanMichaelBowman says:

        +100

        Oil and gas generates 2.25 percent of state Gross Domestic Product and 29,421 Colorado jobs (1 percent of the state workforce). On the other hand, the science and high-tech services industry generates 9.56 percent of state GDP and employs 275,885 Coloradans.

        In other words, the oil and gas industry generates 13,076 jobs per point of state GDP; the science and high-tech sector generates 28,858 jobs per point of GDP

        To your point David, an excellent one, any jobs lost by the fracking moretoria would be quickly filled by those who would move thier businesses to Colorado's Front Range because of the overall environment on the Front Range.

         

  3. Duke CoxDuke Cox says:

    With the price of natural gas in the toilet (it was up to about $6.00 per mcf a couple of days ago, but that price isn't sustainable) the O&G boys aren't as boisterous as they have been. Things aren't looking good for the boys from 17th st.

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