Communities’ fracing votes seen as first round in Colorado fight

Note: Errors in attribution were corrected in this story Nov. 7.

Approval by majorities of voters on Nov. 5 in three Colorado Front Range communities of moratoriums or bans of hydraulic fracturing was only the first round of a potentially statewide battle, Colorado Oil & Gas Association Pres. Tisha Schuller said on Nov. 6.

“These elections mobilized community members to educate their neighbors, and our support of their efforts is just beginning,” Schuller said.

About 76% of the votes in Boulder supported extending the city’s fracing moratorium for 5 years, while 55% of the ballots cast in Fort Collins farther north supported a new 5-year ban. Some 58% of the voters in Lafayette backed banning the process permanently.

Voters in a fourth community, Broomfield, narrowly defeated a proposal to ban fracing and prohibit the disposal or open pit storage of solid or liquid wastes connected to the process for 5 years. The margin, which was 13 votes on election night, potentially could be erased or expanded by absentee votes which will be accepted through Nov. 13.

Schuller said the close election there “proves that common sense prevails in mainstream Colorado communities when it comes to energy production [in]…the only true swing community contemplating an energy ballot measure.” The ban would have overturned regulations passed the Denver suburb’s city council passed last September, she noted.

“There was also a victory in the hearts and minds of voters in Fort Collins, where 44% recognized that the proposed 5-year energy ban jeopardizes their community,” COGA’s president said. “During the course of the campaign, the city council passed a resolution recommending voters there not support the energy ban. The Fort Collins Chamber of Commerce opposed the ban, and the Fort Collins Coloradoan editorialized against the measure.”

CRED uses tweets

Coloradans for Responsible Energy Development, an advocacy group funded by Anadarko Petroleum Corp. and Noble Energy Inc., has actively tried to reach Front Range voters with radio commercials and other methods since Sept. 5. CRED’s strategy included Election Day tweets on Twitter of its top 10 facts about fracing.

“Coloradans overwhelmingly support ongoing oil and gas development,” Schuller said. “We will continue mobilizing and educating our neighbors on the safety and importance of our industry. We will continue to stand with the communities that support over 100,000 Colorado families who rely on the oil and gas industry for their livelihood.”

US Rep. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) has noted that Weld County in his district has grown so financially secure from taxes on oil and gas activity there that it can fund improvements from the receipts.

“States have a real interest in ensuring that their oil and gas resources are developed efficiently and responsibly,” said James A. Pardo, a partner in McDermott Will & Emery LLP’s New York office. “Because local bans have the potential to frustrate both of these interests, states and industry rightfully are concerned about them and, understandably, are likely to challenge such bans in court.”

Pardo said, “State legislators, regulators, and industry all are keeping a close eye on local efforts to regulate fracing. States have a real interest in ensuring that their oil and gas resources are developed efficiently and responsibly. Because local bans have the potential to frustrate both of these interests, states and industry rightfully are concerned about them and, understandably, are likely to challenge such bans in court.”

Paul S. Enockson, a partner in Baker & Hostetler LLP’s Denver office and a member of the law firm’s national shale practice team, said, “With the passage of these bans, antifracing groups backing these types of moratoriums and bans will likely seek out additional cities to target, 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, Colorado continues to be ground zero in the battle over fracing.”

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

Related Articles

EPA approves Magellan’s Corpus Christi splitter project

12/12/2014 The US Environmental Protection Agency has issued a final greenhouse gas prevention of significant deterioration construction permit to Magellan Pr...

Keyera to take majority interest in Alberta gas plant

12/12/2014 Keyera Corp., Calgary, will pay $65 million (Can.) to buy a 70.79% ownership interest in the Ricinus deep-cut gas plant in west-central Alberta.

PBF Energy, PBF Logistics make management changes

12/12/2014 Matthew Lucey, currently executive vice-president of PBF Energy Inc., will succeed Michael Gayda as the company’s president. Todd O’Malley, current...

TAEP: TPI still peaking, but ‘contraction unavoidable’ as oil prices fall

12/12/2014 The Texas Petro Index (TPI), a composite index based on a comprehensive group of upstream economic indicators released by the Texas Alliance of Ene...

MARKET WATCH: NYMEX crude oil price extends slump

12/12/2014 Crude oil prices extended their slump on the New York market with a Dec. 11 settlement of less than $60/bbl for January, and prices continued downw...

US needs more data before ending crude export ban, House panel told

12/11/2014 Much more environmental impact information is needed before the US can reasonably remove crude oil export limits, a witness told a House Energy and...

BOEM raises offshore oil spill liability limit to $134 million

12/11/2014 The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management increased the liability limit for oil-spill related damages from offshore operations to $134 million from ...

Rosneft, Essar sign terms of oil supply agreement

12/11/2014 OAO Rosneft and Essar Energy PLC have signed key terms of an oil supply agreement in New Delhi. Rosneft said shipments to India may begin in 2015.

Barton introduces bill to remove US crude export limits

12/11/2014

US Rep. Joe Barton (R-Tex.) introduced legislation that would remove US crude oil export limits that have been in place for nearly 40 years.

White Papers

AVEVA NET Accesses and Manages the Digital Asset

Global demand for new process plants, power plants and infrastructure is increasing steadily with the ...
Sponsored by

AVEVA’s Approach for the Digital Asset

To meet the requirements for leaner project execution and more efficient operations while transferring...
Sponsored by

Diversification - the technology aspects

In tough times, businesses seek to diversify into adjacent markets or to apply their skills and resour...
Sponsored by

Engineering & Design for Lean Construction

Modern marketing rhetoric claims that, in order to cut out expensive costs and reduce risks during the...
Sponsored by

Object Lessons - Why control of engineering design at the object level is essential for efficient project execution

Whatever the task, there is usually only one way to do it right and many more to do it wrong. In the c...
Sponsored by

Plant Design for Lean Construction - at your fingertips

One area which can provide improvements to the adoption of Lean principles is the application of mobil...
Sponsored by

How to Keep Your Mud System Vibrator Hose from Getting Hammered to Death

To prevent the vibrating hoses on your oilfield mud circulation systems from failing, you must examine...
Sponsored by

Duty of Care

Good corporate social responsibility means implementing effective workplace health and safety measures...
Sponsored by

Available Webcasts


On Demand

Optimizing your asset management practices to mitigate the effects of a down market

Thu, Dec 11, 2014

The oil and gas market is in constant flux, and as the price of BOE (Barrel of Oil Equivalent) goes down it is increasingly important to optimize your asset management strategy to stay afloat.  Attend this webinar to learn how developing a solid asset management plan can help your company mitigate costs in any market.

register:WEBCAST


Parylene Conformal Coatings for the Oil & Gas Industry

Thu, Nov 20, 2014

In this concise 30-minute webinar, participants have an opportunity to learn more about how Parylene coatings are applied, their features, and the value they add to devices and components.

register:WEBCAST


Utilizing Predictive Analytics to Optimize Productivity in Oil & Gas Operations

Tue, Nov 18, 2014

Join IBM on Tuesday, November 18 @ 1pm CST to explore how Predictive Analytics can help your organization maximize productivity, operational performance & associated processes to drive enterprise wide productivity and profitability.

register:WEBCAST


US HYDROCARBON EXPORTS Part 3 — LNG

Fri, Nov 14, 2014

US LNG Exports, the third in a trilogy of webcasts focusing on the broad topic of US Hydrocarbon Exports.

A discussion of the problems and potential for the export of US-produced liquefied natural gas.

These and other topics will be discussed, with the latest thoughts on U.S. LNG export policy.

register:WEBCAST


Careers at TOTAL

Careers at TOTAL - Videos

More than 600 job openings are now online, watch videos and learn more!

 

Click Here to Watch

Other Oil & Gas Industry Jobs

Search More Job Listings >>
Stay Connected