In a major decision, the Colorado Supreme Court asserted the state’s rights over gas and oil regulations within municipalities and overturned fracking bans (one moratorium treated as a ban) in Longmont and Fort Collins. The bans were passed in the heat of the oil and gas boom of the last five years, a boom now tapered off. It will be controversial for the two cities to spend more taxpayer money on appeals given most observers believed their cases were marginal.
The action now shifts to the political arena with various anti-fracking groups proposing bans for the ballot. I point out to Dan Elliott of the AP (May 3) that a single ballot issue has less impact on voter turnout in a presidential election than a lower turnout even year election, such as 2014 when senior Democrats were concerned gas and oil conflicts could hurt Democrats on the ballot.
However, I do think fracking can affect legislative races in certain districts.