Residents of Loveland voted against a moratorium on fracing on June 24, the first city in Colorado to do so.
Loveland is the sixth Colorado city to put a halt on fracing to a vote according to the Coloradoan. The other five—Boulder, Fort Collins, Lafayette, Broomfield and Longmont—have put delays, bans, or restrictions on fracing. Loveland has passed restrictions in the past. According to the Associated Press, the city imposed a moratorium in May 2012 and some “enhanced setback standards” in April 2013.
Ballot Pedia reported that the June 24 ballot was delayed from a proposed November 2013 vote because of a lawsuit filed against the measure. City Spokesman Tom Hacker said more than 20,000 ballots were cast, representing about 50% of registered voters in Loveland. The ballot was defeated by about 900 votes.
According to 9 News, Nick Passanante, a supporter of the moratorium and campaign director of Safe. Clean. Colorado., said, “Today, despite the oil and gas industry outspending local community members by at least $1 million dollars on an election date cherry-picked by the industry, this grassroots effort in Loveland was very nearly passed against overwhelming odds. The industry should certainly be running scared as we head towards the ballot in November.”
Tisha Schuller, President and CEO of the Colorado Oil & Gas Association, told 9News, “This is a good example of what happens when voters have access to the facts about hydraulic fracturing and energy development. This ballot measure was about banning energy development, and the people of Loveland embraced cooperation by rejecting this ban.”
According to the Associated Press, Karen Crummy, a spokeswoman for Protecting Colorado’s Environment, Economy, and Energy Independence, said, “The results in Loveland should be a warning to people pushing similar ballot measures across the state.”
“The head of Colorado Concern, an organization of more than 100 CEOs, said the group was encouraged by the Loveland results,” according to the AP.
Opponents of fracing are attempting to pass two statewide ballots. “One would increase rig setbacks from homes from 500 feet to 2,000 feet. The other would create an Environmental Bill of Rights,” according to the AP.
With respect to the setback proposal, The Denver Post reports that Governor Hickenlooper said, “There are so many little homes on little ranchettes that a 1,500-foot setback would eliminate almost 60 percent of the drilling locations.”
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