Yesterday’s election brought huge results for anti-fracking voters in Fort Collins, Boulder and Lafayette where all measures were approved that will either ban or pause the practice of hydraulic fracturing. Initial results show Broomfield with a tally so close—13 votes—that it will force a recount.
“With wins in Boulder, Lafayette and Fort Collins—and a partial-victory in Broomfield—this election sends a huge wake-up call to Governor Hickenlooper that the people of Colorado do not want to be fracked,” said Gary Wockner of Clean Water Action. “Fort Collins’ vote is especially revealing—a decisive 10 point win in a swing county while being outspent 40 to 1. The oil and gas industry poured in almost $900,000 to try and force citizens to be exposed to their cancer-causing fracking chemicals. Their money back-fired.”
“Here’s the message to Governor Hickenlooper: Can you hear us now?” said Wockner.
In all four races, proponents were heavily outspent by the opposition. According to The Denver Post, Colorado Oil and Gas Association opened its wallet wide to oppose all of the anti-fracking measures, spending $878,120 on city-specific campaigns by Halloween. Anti-fracking groups raised more than $26,000 in the same time.
The Fort Collins initiative—which won with 55 percent of the vote—halts fracking and the disposal of related waste for five years. In Boulder, Issue 2H won with 77 percent of the vote, which extends by four years a one-year moratorium on oil and gas extraction that would otherwise expire June 3, 2014. In Lafayette, 59 percent of the voters decided to change the city charter to ban the practice outright. In Broomfield, Question 300 would prevent any drilling activity that uses hydraulic fracturing for a total of five years.
“This is a huge victory for the citizens of Fort Collins. We are thrilled that the citizens of Fort Collins saw through the misinformation and half-truths told by the world’s richest and most powerful industry,” said Kelly Giddens of Citizens for a Healthy Fort Collins.
“This fight is about protecting our community and the citizens who chose to live in it. This ‘time-out’ will give the citizens of Fort Collins the necessary time and information as to whether or how to allow fracking within the city of Fort Collins.”
Colorado has been called the ground zero of fracking. It has more than 50,000 fracking wells, many within hundreds of feet of schools, homes and public parks. Gas and oil companies are virtually self-regulated, with devastating consequences, as we saw in the recent flooding of thousands of fracking sites that were allowed to be built on a flood zone.
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