A Colorado District Court judge ruled last week
that a five year ban on hydraulic fracturing that citizens of Broomfield approved on the city’s November, 2013 local ballot is valid and can go into effect.
Broomfield is one of five Colorado cities
that have brought local ballot initiatives to regulate fracking activity within their borders. The others are Lafayette, Boulder, Longmont and Fort Collins.
The razor-thin election results on Broomfield’s anti-fracking measure, Question 300, led to a recount which concluded the measure passed by a margin of just 20 votes out of more than 20,000 cast.
The Broomfield Balanced Energy Coalition and Tom Cave, a member of It’s Our Broomfield, Too, both pro-fracking groups funded by the Colorado Oil and Gas Association
, challenged the validity of the election results and sued to have them invalidated, but on February 27, 2014 Judge Chris Melonakis of the Seventeenth Judicial District ruled
that the City of Broomfield had acted in good faith in conducting the election and the results are fair and valid.
In his ruling, Judge Chris Melonakis said, “The steps taken [by Broomfield] were a reasonable, if imperfect attempt to insure full extension of the franchise and prevention of voter fraud.”
Our Broomfield, the grassroots group that gathered enough signatures to get Question 300 on the ballot, argued that the five year moratorium on fracking is needed to provide time to research the potential health and safety impacts of fracking on the community.
Image credit: Fracking protest via Shutterstock