Fracking Ballot Measure Generates Controversy

This November Longmont voters will decide if fracking should be banned within City limits. The Longmont Chamber of Commerce hosted a forum on this topic that included speakers Governor John Hickenlooper, Adjunct Professor Dr. William Fleckenstein from the School of Mines and representatives from Our Longmont, Our Future (the group responsible for getting this measure on the ballot).

Governor Hickenlooper argued that the State’s new rules and flexible. He said that allowing every municipality to create its own set of rules would create chaos and as much as he hated to push the issue, the State had to sue the City of Longmont. He noted that U.S. carbon monoxide levels are the lowest they’ve been since 1967 because of the use of natural gas, which creates less pollution than coal. “Natural gas can change the world for the better” and create jobs, he said.

The Governor’s facts and the scientific information presented by Dr. Fleckenstein contrasted sharply with the emotional appeal made by the Our Longmont representatives. Their attempts to persuade the audience that fracking should be banned did not seem successful, and the rude and antagonistic behavior of their supporters did little to help their cause.

In the aftermath of the forum, a group of former Longmont mayors has created Main Street Longmont ( to urge citizens to vote no on ballot issue 300. Bob Askey, Brian Baum, Roger Lange, Julia Pirnack, Leona Stoecker, Bill Swenson and Al Sweney argue, “Longmont has become the center of a blizzard of false information and scare tactics. Activists with an agenda have worked hard to stir up an anti-fracking hysteria. Fear mongering and deception is dividing our community. And it’s sending the wrong message to our neighbors, that Longmont is unreasonable and anti-business. Reckless charges about thehealth and safety of our community have been fueled, not by scientific evidence or facts, but by the passion for a cause. Facts are just collateral damage in the activist war on fracking.”

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