POLITICS (National): Colorado municipal elections, approval, anti-fracking measures: "Colorado Cities' Rejection of Fracking Poses Political Test for Natural Gas"....
* New York Times: "Colorado Cities' Rejection of Fracking Poses Political Test for Natural Gas Industry" - From the LAT:
With three Colorado cities approving bans or moratoriums on hydraulic fracturing, known as fracking, theindustry is being forced to re-examine its political strategy after a period of explosive growth and broad backing.
Voters in Boulder, Fort Collins and Lafayette approved antifracking initiatives by wide margins on Tuesday, ignoring an industry campaign against the measures that cost at least $875,000. A fourth city, Broomfield, narrowly defeated a proposal for a five-year moratorium on drilling that uses hydraulic fracturing.
More than 100 municipalities have approved similar measures, according to a nonprofit industry monitor, FracTracker, and political opposition to fracking has grown in some areas, like Pennsylvania, where drilling has boomed. But experts say the Colorado votes have added significance because the state has long been a majorand gas producer and a place where drilling has been both common and tolerated.
“It’s an important vote,” said Floyd Ciruli, a pollster and political analyst whose Denver firm advises clients on how to marshal public support for initiatives. “People here are concerned about the real impact of fracking — the effect on the air, the noise, the dust, contaminated groundwater.”
Voters may also have been influenced by flooding that swept fracking sites in north-central Colorado in September. Environmental damage was minimal, but the dramatic pictures of overturned tanks of drilling wastewater and inundated drilling pads amplified a continuing debate over the safety of fracking. . . . . . . .
Mr. Ciruli said the approved measures were likely to prompt state legislators and [Governor John] Hickenlooper to consider tightening regulation of the shale gas industry, in part to blunt future efforts by antifracking groups to expand bans or moratoriums......................