May 3, 2016

Denied By All Three Branches Of State Government, Environmentalists Will Try (Again) To Restrict Fracking In Colorado


On Tuesday, the Colorado Supreme Court ruled that towns and cities can not ban fracking because the state has “the primary authority to regulate energy.” It was the latest in a long line of defeats for the Environmentalist Left in The Centennial State.

However, environmental groups – now rebuffed by all three branches of government in their attempts to outlaw an industry that is vital to Colorado’s economy – are still trying.

Soon after the ruling, radical activist Bill McKibben’s 350.org tweeted support for a ballot initiative that would institute a statewide fracking ban. The Sierra Club pledged to fight fracking wells “permit-by-permit.”

Those environmentalists failed to mention two important points.

First, the Colorado government has affirmed the legality of fracking time and time again. In addition to the Supreme Court ruling, a task force from Democrat Gov. John Hickenlooper did not recommend giving local governments more power over fracking in 2015. Republicans – and a few Democrats – in the state legislature blocked a bill with similar aims last month.

Second, and more importantly, fracking plays a crucial role in Colorado’s economy. A 2014 study from the University of Colorado Boulder estimated a fracking ban would cost the state 68,000 jobs and $8 billion in gross domestic product (GDP) in just the first five years of the ban.

As environmentalists turn their attention to a ballot initiative, they have a steep hill to climb. A 2014 effort to give local governments “sweeping powers over oil drilling and other industrial activity” failed to get enough signatures to be put on the ballot.