Just last week, the Colorado Supreme Court determined that the local fracking bans in Fort Collins and Longmont are in violation of state law. What this means is that oil and gas will continue to be governed on a statewide level, which is the right call. Colorado should not replace what are the most stringent oil and gas regulations in the country with a patchwork of local regulations. The fact is that water and air don’t respect city and county boundaries, and we want to ensure all Coloradans have access to a healthy environment, while benefiting from the economic boost local oil and gas development provides our state.
I wrote a piece in Sunday’s Denver Post about the ruling that you can read here.
Oil and gas continues to be a topic of conversation in our state. This fall we may see a number of issues on our ballot related to oil and gas development. One potential ballot issue creates a 2,500 foot minimum setback requirement. It’s hard to imagine what half a mile setback would mean for oil and gas development, but from projections we’ve seen, these extended setbacks essentially ban development in our state and cripple our ability to produce energy here at home.
The caution here is twofold. First, it’s an important reminder to understand the practical application and fiscal impact of ballot issues. Read, think critically and ask questions before you sign on in support of an issue. Second, keep in mind the values of our state. We can work together to find solutions that are agreeable to all stakeholders, so that we’re making change together. And, we can continue to balance protecting our environment with taking advantage of an incredible resource that brings jobs and oil and natural gas to Coloradans.
You can learn more about the issues here.
Kelly Brough is president and CEO of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce.