Voters pass fracking bans in Fort Collins, Boulder, Lafayette; Broomfield ban fails by 13 votes

DENVER - Voters in three Colorado cities passed bans on fracking Tuesday night.

Hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, is a gas drilling process that blasts chemical-laden water deep into the ground. Supporters say the process is safe, while opponents say the technique pollutes groundwater.

In Boulder, voters were asked if they wanted to extend the current moratorium on new oil and gas exploration until 2018. That measure was supported by 77 percent of voters.

In Lafayette, 59 percent of voters supported ballot question No. 300, extending the moratorium prohibiting natural gas and oil extraction in the city limits.

In Fort Collins, a citizen-initiated measure banning the use of hydraulic fracturing within the city limits was passed by 56 percent voters.

However, in Broomfield, a ban on fracking appears to have lost by 13 votes, according to Broomfield's election's website.

This year, Broomfield's city council approved at least 31 new gas wells using hydraulic fracturing in the county, upsetting some community members. The issue went to voters through a ballot measure asking if they wanted to ban fracking for five years.

10,253 voters said yes. However, 10,266 voted no.

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, a former geologist, has said he is trying to be impartial on issues involving oil and gas production in Colorado, including the industry's use of fracking to reach natural gas deposits.

He says more research about the process is needed.

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