First Colorado City Votes to Reject Fracking Moratorium

Loveland became the first city in Colorado to reject a voter-imposed moratorium on gas and oil hydraulic fracturing. Voters in five cities have approved moratoriums since 2012 though they are being contested by energy companies and the state.

1 minute read

June 30, 2014, 11:00 AM PDT

By Irvin Dawid


Residents of Loveland, a city of 67,000 soundly defeated "Question 1, the only item on the city’s special election ballot which proposed a two-year moratorium on fracking and a study of the process’ potential health impacts," writes Ryan Maye Handy, Environment and Public Lands Reporter for The Fort Collins Coloradoan.

It lost by 900 votes, or 4.5% of the 20,000 ballots cast on June 24. Coincidentally, that's the same amount of total votes cast in Broomfield last year. That measure passed by a mere 20 votes, or .1%.

Colorado has a recent history of voter-approved opposition to fracking, beginning with Longmont in 2012; and in 2013 by Fort Collins, Lafayette, Boulder, and Broomfield, all Front Range cities.

One might ask why some of these ballot measures are held in the first place considering that "(i)t’s been years since any new wells were fracked in Loveland and there appear to be no new wells in the works," said Loveland Public Information Officer Tom Hacker. 

Of interest to those who follow voter registration issues, one can register to vote the same day as the election in Colorado. Handy writes, "Loveland residents were casting votes and even registering until the eleventh hour on Tuesday. At one point would-be voters were sprawled on the office floor, registering to vote."

Abbreviated version of this article appears in Governing.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014 in The Coloradoan

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