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Group Calls For Local Control Over Fracking On Statewide Ballot

Grace Hood
A workover rig performs remedial work inside Fort Collins city limits Oct. 2013.

A coalition of groups called Local Control Colorado is announcing plans to submit a statewide ballot issue aimed at giving communities more control over the practice of hydraulic fracturing.

  The issue stems from three cities — Longmont, Fort Collins and Lafayette — that have passed bans or moratoriums and are now embroiled in lawsuits with the state and industry over their legality.

“Coloradans should not live in fear that the Governor or the oil and gas industry will bring a lawsuit if you try to protect your family or property from fracking,” founder of Citizens for a Healthy Fort Collins Kelly Giddens said in a press release.

Until now industry officials and Gov. John Hickenlooper have asserted strongly that fracking bans are against state law. In their statements, they reference a 1992 Colorado Supreme Court ruling that overturned a Greeley ban on oil and gas development.

Local Control Colorado has already submitted language to Colorado Legislative Services for a constitutional amendment. State officials need to approve the ballot language.

Organizers would then have until August to collect 86,000 signatures to get the initiative on the November ballot.

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