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Fracking Foes Not Just Active On Colorado Ballot

Larimer County Clerk and Recorder

Voters in Ohio and Colorado communities will weigh measures on Nov. 5 seeking to ban or limit the practice of hydraulic fracturing. Local campaigns questioning the health and safety of fracking are heating up across the U.S.

Colorado is ground zero right now when it comes to citizen-initiated ballot issues on fracking. In 2012 it was Longmont voters who approved a fracking ban, and two lawsuits followed. Now voters in Lafayette, Broomfield, Boulder and Fort Collins who will weigh the issue.

Across the country, citizens are pressing for local limits on hydraulic fracturing. That’s according to Mark Schlosberg with Food & Water Watch, an advocacy group that’s coordinating anti-fracking efforts from New York to California.

“Really everywhere in between communities are coming together to try to protect themselves from fracking,” Schlosberg said. “383 communities nationally have passed measures against fracking and that number continues to grow.”

Food & Water Watch financially contributed to all four Colorado groups seeking to place limits on fracking this fall, donations ranging from $223-$233. On the other side, the Colorado Oil and Gas Association is spending heavily to oppose all four measures, contributing more than $600,000 to opponent groups so far.

"383 communities nationally have passed measures against fracking and that number continues to grow."

In Ohio, Youngstown and Bowling Green will also weigh bans. Citizens in Athens tried and failed to get the issue on the ballot this year.

Fracking opponents in California are increasingly targeting local governments after a push for a statewide moratorium was unsuccessful earlier this year. Santa Cruz County established a moratorium in September. This month, two Los Angeles City Council members introduced a ban on fracking.

The oil and gas industry, understandably, doesn’t agree with the bans. They point to economic losses and impacts, lost mineral rights, lawsuits and jobs as the myriad reasons the bans shouldn’t be put into place.

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