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Boulder County To Take Oil And Gas Fight To The Statehouse

Bill Badzo

With just a few days left in Boulder County’s oil and gas moratorium, county commissioners laid out their plan to gain more local control of the multibillion-dollar industry.

Commissioners urged the public to protest at the state Capitol and vote in the upcoming gubernatorial election for a candidate who would be more receptive to statewide implementation of more restrictive regulations.

“Our approach on oil and gas is multi-pronged,” said Commissioner Elise Jones. “There’s state legislation, state rules, ballot initiatives, air and water public health studies, our regulations. There’s a whole gamut of things that we can and should do in order to fully protect our residents on oil and gas.”

The commissioners said continuing the current moratorium past the May 1 end date would only be a symbolic gesture, and not effective since it would be struck down by the state Supreme Court.

Credit Jackie Fortier / KUNC
Boulder County Commissioner Elise Jones on the left, Deb Gardner and Cindy Domenico listening to staff reports on oil and gas regulations on April, 25 2017.

Commissioner Cindy Domenico urged people in the audience, including those who had interrupted the meeting with calls to ban oil and gas, to “make your voice heard in the places where we can make a difference.”

In March 2017 the commissioners passed the most restrictive oil and gas land use regulations in the state. The county is currently being sued by the state attorney general for not lifting their moratorium earlier.

“May 1 does not mean that we are giving up on local control, it means that we are adopting new strategies,” Jones said.

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