Boulder County Commissioners Respond to Citizen Concerns, Extend Fracking Moratorium

BOULDER, CO–(ENEWSPF)–November 13, 2014.  Today the Boulder County Commission announced an extension of the moratorium on oil and gas development.  The three year extension will prohibit oil and gas surface activities from occurring in the county until July 1, 2018.  Citizens called for the continued moratorium amid concerns that rampant oil and gas development in neighboring Weld County would extend into Boulder County, threatening public health, safety and the environment. At a public hearing on the extension earlier this week, a majority of the attendees who spoke supported a continued moratorium.

“The citizens of Boulder County applaud our County Commissioners for extending this moratorium to protect the people of Boulder County and exercising their right as local government to restrict oil and gas development. Industry has run roughshod over community concerns for decades and we are glad to live in a community where our Commissioners stand up for our best interests,” said Ken Bonetti, Boulder resident and local Sierra Club member.

“Scientific studies on health risks from toxic air emissions, reports on environmentally damaging spills and continued exemptions from state and federal regulations show that oil and gas development risks the health and safety of those living nearby and make it clear that an extension of the moratorium in Boulder County was necessary for community well-being,” said Ilse Bleck, Boulder resident and local Sierra Club member. She continued, “In the absence of adequate state rules governing oil and gas development, local governments must be able to step in to protect public health and the environment and we applaud the Boulder County Commissioners for doing just that.”

Over the past decade Colorado has experienced an enormous boom in oil and gas drilling. Colorado currently has more than 52,000 active oil and gas wells covering much of the state’s landscape. This growing trend of drilling near homes and schools prompted Boulder County, north of Denver and on the western edge of Colorado’s most productive oil and gas field, to place a moratorium on fracking within its borders. This moratorium was one of many efforts that citizens and local governments are implementing to protect the health and environment of residents across the state by keeping dirty fuels in the ground.  

“I am proud of those elected officials like our Boulder County Commissioners who will stand up to the industry in light of citizen concerns and keep the harms of fracking away from our community.  My family and I see the impacts that fracking in Weld County is having on public health, air quality and safety when we look across the county line and we don’t want that here. With the 3 year extension of the moratorium, our Boulder County Commissioners showed they understand these concerns and will stand up for this community,” said Karen Dike, Longmont resident and member of the Sierra Club.