Reported today Feb. 28, Colorado District Judge Chris Melonakis said, there was minimal issues with the ballot, but it didn't make it illegal. This Thursday he ruled the elections which banned fracking for the City of Broomfield was legal.
It was reported by 'The Denver Post' that the ban passed with just 20 votes. And some people claim their vote doesn't make a difference, apparently every vote counts. Imagine if those 20 voters believed that. The city would've been shackled with the unknown long-term effects that are believed to come from hydraulic fracturing. Those against fracking say the process pushes chemicals deep into the earth contaminating ground waters and the air. The majority, by a small margin, of Broomfield made sure to keep such practices from polluting their city.
But the question remains, if fracking isn't allowed within Broomfield city limits, what are the other options? Will fracking be pushed into nearby cities, or counties? Will Colorado cities who don't have fracking within their city or county limits need to consider adopting new ordinances for future permits? Let's face it, the industry isn't going away, and not everyone agrees that fracking is harmful and needs to be banned.
The energy industry maintains the practice is safe. But is this true? Should we only turn to an industry for answers that push their own goals?
As for the ruling, The Broomfield Balanced Energy Coalition didn't think the voting process was legal, and had filed the lawsuit challenging the ballot and votes, which has allowed the fracking ban.
In an email 'Examiner.com' received a press release from B.J. Nikkel, a spokes person for the group indicating they are not finished pursing legal actions. The goal for the group aims to maintain fair elections.
"Obviously, we are disappointed and disagree with the court’s findings. We have a very different point of view of what transparency is and we don’t believe that this election was transparent. We had hoped that there would be consistency required of Broomfield election officials in counting ballots from county to county and within Broomfield itself.
As a result of this decision, Broomfield citizens have been left with a flawed election where election officials acknowledge mistakes they made in counting ballots, and where actual results were hidden behind a veil of secrecy.
Broomfield Balanced Energy Coalition will continue to look at legal and other means of preserving election integrity and constitutional rights in Broomfield."
However Broomfield's City and County Attorney, Bill Tuthill believes Judge Melonakis recognized that voters legally banned fracking. "The court has agreed," said Tuthill.
This court case steams from a Nov. 5, election where on first count the votes were lacking by 13 in order to pass the ban. However, in a recount there were 20 votes that passed the fracking ban. Good luck or bad, this topic is deeply divided.
But the topic isn't just being discussed North of Denver, a Facebook page, Local Control Colorado, founded February, 2014 has a statewide ballot initiative goal. According to the groups mission:
"The time has come for Coloradans to take a stand for the health and safety of our communities. This is our Colorado and we must preserve our right to protect our families, properties and way of life."
Looks like the gate has been open by this latest ruling from Colorado District Judge, Melonakis, and the citizens of Broomfield, where residents can control fracking.
Perhaps Margaret Mead said it best, "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."
It was proven in Broomfield, Colo., yesterday that voters are allowed to ban fracking. What will be the fate of Colorado? Looks like that will be left for Colorado voters.
Group leader, Laura Fronckiewicz of Local Control Colorado said, the group is working on a state wide ballot initiative that will need to have an approval from a legislative board, and gather "more than 86,000 valid registered voter signatures," before the ballot is approved for the next election.
What are your thoughts on fracking?