It is all the rage for progressive towns in Colorado – on Jan. 23rd the City Council bowed to pressure from citizens opposed to fracking by agreeing to put the question to a public vote. But how would such a ban impact the City?
According to current Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission setback rules, 89.3 percent of land within Fort Collins would be excluded from drilling. If the COGCC implements the proposed 500-foot setbacks, 89 percent of the land would still be excluded from drilling. Therefore the question remains, would such a ban really accomplish much other than play to the emotions of fracking opponents in Fort Collins? Note: The City of Boulder is also considering a ban. Longmont was the first municipality to implement a ban as the result of a successful citizens’ initiative in the November 2012 election.
So why should REALTORS care? For one thing, we support surface owner and mineral owner’s rights. In addition, could the fracking ban be part of a movement to stifle economic development? If it is approved what kind of message does that send to business? Could it be the impetus for more stringent and costly environmental regulations?