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Commerce City Mulls Fracking Ban

KUNC file photo

Commerce City is the latest community along the Colorado Front Range to consider a temporary ban on oil and gas drilling within city limits. 

The emergency six-month moratorium comes before the city council Monday night.  The measure is in response to outcry from a number of residents like Dan Stapleton, who testified at a recent meeting that he and his neighbors were caught off guard when an oil company began fracking a well near their subdivision.

"My personal purpose for being here is not to stop it, but to make sure we know what’s going on exactly and make sure it’s all being done very safely," Stapleton said at city council meeting in November.

The proposed moratorium follows a similar ban that was recently unanimously passed by the city of Colorado Springs.  Officials there and in Commerce City have said they want to revise local regulations to ensure that resources such as groundwater are protected amid the oil boom along the Colorado Front Range.

Oil and gas industry leaders and workers are reportedly also planning to arrive at tonight’s city council meeting to protest the proposed ban.


Kirk Siegler reports for NPR, based out of NPR West in California.
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