Are Boulder County commissioners trying to pull a fast one on the court? It certainly looked that way when they decided to ratify their current moratorium on oil and gas production, to put in place another moratorium on oil and gas production.
But the commissioners said Boulder County’s ability to legally justify continuing the longer multiple-year moratorium — which has been in place since February 2012 and extended several times — was lost when the Colorado Supreme Court ruled in early May against Fort Collins’ five-year fracking moratorium and Longmont’s fracking ban.
“We are bound by the Supreme Court decisions,” Commissioner Cindy Domenico said.
So instead of extended long-term bans, it looks like they’re trying to skirt the law with short-term bans. We have not doubt that when this one expires, they will pass another one.
The usual suspects who oppose heating our homes showed up at the meeting to protest any action by the commission to lift the ban, but were appeased by the shorter short-term ploy.
The commissioners claim they took into account written public comment before making their decision, and even posted a link to those comments for us general public peons to peruse.
Interestingly, the link to read these comments didn’t work, so we can’t confirm that it was littered with cut-and-paste letters written by Clean Water Watch, and signed with the names of people without their knowledge.
We suspect a dozen or so letters written by heads of environmental groups were collected, and that a few of those were written in crayon.
The comments more than likely included numerous, well thought-out arguments from the natural gas industry sprinkled with language backed by the court, as to why the moratorium should be lifted.
Guess we’ll never know.