Boulder City Council unanimously approves drilling moratorium

Ordinance effectively bans fracking in city

BOULDER, Colo. - The Boulder City Council unanimously approved an emergency one-year drilling moratorium Tuesday night, effectively banning fracking immediately.

"Some of the studies done today show that there are significant risks and potential impacts, but there still needs to be much more study," said Councilwoman Suzanne Jones.

The council also approved on first reading an ordinance that would ban the sale of city water for use in fracking.

The meeting was packed with "fractivists," and nearly 60 people signed up to speak.

"I’m here to ask you to have as long a moratorium as possible, and then renew it," said Cheryl Stevenson, a Boulder resident.

Several council members said they supported the idea of a ballot measure in November to approve a longer-term ban.

Boulder City Attorney Tom Carr said a one-year moratorium was the safest option because it protects the public health and protects the city against possibly lawsuits, such as the lawsuit Longmont is now facing after banning fracking within city limits.

Only one Boulder resident, Ben Binder, defended fracking at the public meeting, calling the city attorney's analysis one-sided.

"The fear of fracking is based on a lot of false and exaggerated information," said Binder.