While Colorado cities continue to litigate their authority to ban fracing, a new environmental group is rallying to ban the practice throughout the entire state. At a gathering on February 24, the “Coloradans Against Fracking” announced that “[w]e need to have a ban in this state.”
The group’s spokesperson, Karen Dike, first announced that the group would pursue a 2016 ballot measure banning the practice. But she backtracked on Wednesday, clarifying that they would press Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper to issue an executive order banning the practice before it resorted to a ballot measure.
Dike urged the governor to “do the right thing and protect Colorado citizens, but if he doesn’t, we’ll look at other ways to achieve our goal, and our goal is to ban fracking in the state of Colorado.” But it’s unlikely that the governor will comply.
On Thursday, he allayed any fears of an executive order. He explained, “We can’t find examples in Colorado, or more than one or two examples, where fracing has caused harm or been sufficiently dangerous to the public that would justify us to ban it.” He expressed fear that a ban would “threaten a $20 billion-a-year industry that provides 100,000 jobs in the state.”
This is not the first time the state has considered a ballot proposal banning fracing (see here and here). In 2013, two measures came close to making it on to the ballot – one so severely restricting the practice that many viewed it as an effective ban. Both measures were pulled at the last minute after the governor agreed to create a task force regulating the industry.
More coverage can be found here.