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Colorado Becomes Energy Battleground As Cities Ban Fracking

Keith Coffman | Reuters
Nov 7, 2013

Three Colorado cities have rejected oil and gas production work that relies on, unofficial election returns showed on Wednesday in a setback for an industry that won other battles this year in Democratic strongholds like California.

Boulder, Lafayette and Fort Collins passed measures with solid margins to suspend or ban the technique known as hydraulic fracturing. But a fourth community, Broomfield, about 12 miles east of Boulder, narrowly rejected a fracking moratorium.

In Fort Collins, near the growing Niobrara field, 56 percent of voters approved a five-year ban on fracking, despite a resolution its city council passed urging voters to reject it.

A dozen states including California have clear rules for fracking, but the practice is banned in New York and some think Colorado could be a battleground in the U.S. energy boom.

There is "possibility of a state-wide ban finding its way onto the 2014 Colorado ballot," said Paul Enockson, a lawyer with BakerHostetler in Denver who has represented oil firms.

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