City of Boulder Five Year Fracking Suspension, Question 2H (November 2013)

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A City of Boulder Five Year Fracking Suspension, Question 2H ballot question was on the November 5, 2013, election ballot for voters in the city of Boulder in Boulder County, Colorado. It was approved.

This measure extended the current moratorium on new oil and gas exploration and the new use of fracking for oil and gas.[1]

This measure converted the current one year moratorium on fracking to a five year ban.[2]

Election results

Below are the election results as of Wednesday at 12:18 pm.

Boulder Question 2H
Approveda Yes 23,390 78.13%
These results are from the Boulder County elections office.

Text of measure

Ballot language

The question on the ballot:

Shall Ordinance No. 7907 be amended to extend the current moratorium on new oil and

gas exploration until June 3, 2018 and to set legal standards and the council voting requirements for lifting the moratorium amended pursuant to Ordinance No. 7915?[1][3]


The full text of Ordinance 7915 is available here.



  • East Boulder County United [4]
Oil rig near boulder, CO.

Arguments in favor

Supporters of fracking bans argued that the fracking process allows methane gas and carcinogenic and toxic chemicals to be released into groundwater. And in general they claimed that fracking is harmful to the nearby air and water and that citizens have a right to ban it in populated areas like cities and towns.[5][6]


Boulder resident Ben Binder defended fracking at a city council meeting, saying the city attorney's analysis was biased and one-sided. Binder said, "The fear of fracking is based on a lot of false and exaggerated information."[7]

Legal concerns

Some, although opposed to fracking, were worried that a long-term ban such as Question 2H could make Boulder the focus of a legal battle as in Longmont, potentially removing the city's power to regulate the gas and oil industry.[7]

Media endorsements


The Boulder Weekly: Concerning Quesiton 2H, the staff of the Boulder Weekly wrote:

"This five-year moratorium, while a bit long as far as moratoria go, is needed to allow the science — and our publicly elected policymakers — to catch up with the possible deleterious effects associated with oil and gas exploration, from air and water pollution to massive drains on our water supply to earthquakes caused by injecting wastewater into the earth.
Five years from now, several key studies — including a $12 million one at the University of Colorado funded by the National Science Foundation — will be completed, and we’ll know a lot more about whether the risks associated with practices like fracking are worth the gain. We’ll be voting for 2H."[8]

Related lawsuits

Longmont lawsuit

In 2012, Longmont voters approved a citizen initiated charter amendment to ban hydraulic fracturing or fracking, a contentious method of extracting oil and gas. The measure was approved by nearly 60 percent of voters. Two lawsuits were filed against Longmont over this ban. The most recent lawsuit features the Colorado Oil and Gas Association (COGA) and the state's Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission as plaintiffs. According to a Colorado Open Records Act request, both lawsuits together had already cost the city of Longmont almost $69,000 in legal fees as of March 31, 2013. On July 24, 2014, Boulder District Court Judge Dolores Mallard overruled the ban, saying that the city of Longmont "does not have the authority to prohibit what the state authorizes and permits." Mallard cited Voss v. Lundvall, a 1992 court ruling that gave states, rather than cities, control over oil and gas extraction regulations and bans. Question 300, however, remains in effect, since the ruling was immediately put on hold due to an appeal by Question 300 supporters. Anti-fracking lawyers and activists have pledged to take the appeal all the way to the Supreme Court if that is what it takes. Although Mallard's ruling will be counterfeited by a ruling from a higher court, it sets in motion a process likely to result in a judicial precedent that could apply to all of the many local ballot measures that seek to ban fracking in Colorado.[9][10][11]

Similar measures


Approveda Question 300: City of Lafayette "Community Rights Act" Fracking Ban Amendment
Approveda Question 300: Broomfield Five Year Fracking Suspension
Approveda Question 2A: City of Fort Collins Five Year Fracking Suspension
Defeatedd City of Loveland Two Year Fracking Suspension Initiative


See also

External links

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