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May 3, 2016

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

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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.