The City of Lafayette history of council’s actions on banning fracking



The Community Bill of Rights charter amendment which banned fracking based on threats to the environment and the public health was voted in by the citizens of Lafayette, 62% in favor, in 2013. It is still part of the city charter, but since the lawsuit by Colorado Oil and Gas which they won, the charter has a footnote added to it that says it cannot be enforced. Here the charter is in the city code:

The footnote says:

The grassroots citizens’ right group East Boulder County United, who championed this charter in the first place, applied to be added to the lawsuit worried that it would not be defended to the full extent by council. Council majority fought the East Boulder County United’s motion to join the lawsuit and won. The concern by EBCU was that the charter wasn’t being defended adequately using all the available arguments like the rights-based argument, which council did not end up using. Council majority declined to appeal the court’s decision that the charter wasn’t enforcable.

Here is a good article describing the East County Boulder United’s perspective:

In January 2017, Councilor Merrily Maza proposed a Climate Bill of Rights ordinance to ban fracking, again based on our right to health and a non-toxic environment. This ordinance honored Lafayetten majority’s wishes as encoded in the 2013 charter. However, ordinances can be amended anytime by the council without citizen input. Unfortunately, the council majority removed protections of protesting citizens (direct action) without Merrily’s knowledge while she was out of town and voted this version of the ordinance in, in March 2018. Whether council majority will enforce the 2017 ordinance to ban fracking won’t be tested until Oil and Gas apply to city council for fracking permits.

That could very well happen. In September 2017, Extraction (via subsidiary 8 North LLC) submitted a spacing plan outlining plans to drill in town (Click here for more info). Soon after, families began protests to stop fracking near Pioneer Elementary. Incidentally, it appears that Extraction drilling company is accessing the oil and gas under the ground shown in the map below via Cornflower pad outside of the city limits. Our citizens’ protests to protect kids at Pioneer school might have a made a difference. Although, sadly, off-gassed pollutants are no respecter of borders.