Attendees at the council meeting waved their hands as a form of applause during the public comment session. (Photo: Liz Ruskin)

Attendees at the council meeting waved their hands as a form of applause during public comment session. (Photo: Liz Ruskin)

Colorado Springs City Council yesterday rejected the oil and gas ordinance it’s been working on for 18 months. The regulations would have required drillers to get a city permit, but didn’t prevent hydraulic fracturing from any zone within the city. KRCC’s Liz Ruskin reports.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Opponents of fracking held a rally outside city hall, then packed the council meeting, delivering two hours of sometimes passionate public comment. Activist Dave Gardner gave each council member a jar of water that he said came from a fracked well.

“And I really want to know, if you’re not willing to drink that water, then how you could in good conscience vote yes to open the door to the poisoning of our community and the water in this community.”

Council President Scott Hente was one of four council members who voted no. He says his turning point was the night in January when state regulators met with council and told them state oil and gas law trumps many of the city’s usual powers.

“And that gentleman from the Colorado Oil and Gas Commission sat out there and he basically said — and I’m paraphrasing — ‘You have to do, Mr. Home Rule City, what we tell you to do.’ You know what? It just hardened the heart of this elected official.”

Council members Jan Martin, Val Snider and Brandy Williams also voted no. Lisa Czedlatko was absent.

“And that issue fails on a 4-4 vote.”

Councilwoman Angela Dougan voted for the regulations. She says mineral owners still have rights within the city, so what Council really did was forfeit a chance to hold companies responsible for things like maintenance.

“By not supporting this you didn’t get rid of fracking. Now it’s completely at the state’s hands. Colorado Springs has said ‘We can’t come up with regulations that will actually allow us to protect our roads if they are run.’”

Ultra Resources recently announced it no longer intends to drill on the Banning Lewis Ranch, but some council members say the city should try again to write regulations to prepare for future drilling plans.

 

One Response to Oil & Gas Regulations in Colorado Springs Fail Council Vote

  1. AMT3306 says:

    Good job hippies. You voted down the ability of Colorado springs to maintain oversight & regulate drillers and gave it to the state – which has nothing but our best interests at heart.

News

AP
April 21, 2014 | NPR · The deaths last week of at least 13 guides have led others to issue demands, including for more compensation for families of the dead. They’re considering a boycott if the requests aren’t granted.
 

AP
April 21, 2014 | NPR · The former newspaper editor, who co-founded the National League for Democracy with Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, spent 19 years in prison until his release in 2008. He died Monday of organ failure.
 

Getty Images
April 21, 2014 | NPR · The twin bombings of 2013 cast a long shadow on the event. Still, a field of 36,000 is hitting the streets of Boston to participate in the oldest and most prestigious marathon in the world.
 

Arts & Life

AMC
April 21, 2014 | NPR · Sunday night’s episode capitalized at last on the show’s notoriously ambivalent, slow-burning approach to paying any attention to race.
 

April 21, 2014 | NPR · Also: a poem by Michele Glazer; the best books coming out this week.
 

Getty Images
April 20, 2014 | NPR · It seems like a simple question: How many parts can you divide a line into? The troublesome answer was square at the root of two of Europe’s greatest social crises.
 

Music

Courtesy of the artist
April 21, 2014 | NPR · As assembled here, the songs on Indie Cindy form a worthwhile, frequently terrific document of a band forever in transition, even in middle age. It’s music born out of chaos, same as it ever was.
 

Courtesy of the artist
April 20, 2014 | NPR · One of the world’s best jazz drummers is also a singer-songwriter, session man for Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell and the son of a preacher man. It’s all potently distilled for his band of over 15 years.
 

Courtesy of the artist
April 20, 2014 | NPR · Sean Lennon has made one of the best recordings of his career, with help from bassist, singer and partner Charlotte Kemp Muhl. The two follow their acoustic debut with a fabulously fuzzy rock album.
 

Get the KRCC iPhone App

The Writer's Almanac

Radiolab