Sunday, February 19, 2012

Boulder County commissioner candidates focus on fracking - A Ban?

Times-Calltimescall.com
By John Fryar Longmont
2/18/2012

All are critical of county's regulations on drilling

BOULDER -- Boulder County shouldn't waste time tinkering with land use regulations in an attempt to reduce the potential public health and safety hazards that might come with using hydraulic fracturing to free up oil and gas deposits, a Boulder County commissioner candidate said Saturday.

Instead, commissioners should enact an outright prohibition against such "fracking" for future wells drilled anywhere in unincorporated areas of Boulder County, said Garry Sanfacon, even if that means paying to defend the county in any oil and gas exploration companies' lawsuits that might result.

All the Democratic candidates for the two Board of County Commissioners seats up for election this year expressed strong concerns about the adequacy of this county's current land use code's rules about oil and gas drilling, during a candidates' forum at Boulder County Democratic Party headquarters on Saturday afternoon.

Present regulations "don't have any strength to them," said Commissioner Deb Gardner, who voted with fellow board members on Feb. 2 to impose a six-month temporary moratorium on accepting and processing new drilling applications in order to give the county staff time to study and propose possible revisions to those existing Boulder County rules.

Gardner -- a Longmont resident who was appointed to the vacant District 2 seat on the county board in January and is seeking election to a full four-year term in that seat -- urged people to attend the March 1 public hearing the commissioners have scheduled as they consider whether to terminate, renew or otherwise amend that temporary drilling moratorium.

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But District 1 candidate Sanfacon, a Nederland-area resident who manages county government's Fourmile Canyon Fire recovery effort, said Boulder County needs to ban fracking, and not just "monkey around with the regulatory framework."

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Makes perfect sense to us! Ban it! Who's on the 'Ban Wagon?'

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