Rifle supports group opposing state fracking ballot measures | PostIndependent.com

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Rifle supports group opposing state fracking ballot measures

The City of Rifle has agreed to allow its name to be used by a coalition of energy industry, business-promotion groups and others who oppose a planned statewide ballot measure regarding hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, of natural gas wells.

City Council voted 6-0, with Councilman Hans Parkinson absent, Wednesday night to allow the use of the city’s name in support of a list of several “principles” of responsible oil and gas development.

The list, sponsored by a group called Vital For Colorado, includes several statements supporting the economic impact of the energy industry on the state economy, one that claims fracking has been safely used in Colorado for more than 60 years and urges policy-makers and the public to “rely on science, facts and data to guide discussion, not scare tactics and hyperbole.”

Another statement said Colorado should continue to regulate the industry in a comprehensive, statewide manner, “rather than a patchwork quilt of inconsistent regulations.”

And the last statement reads, “We oppose attempts to politicize energy regulation, enact wholesale energy bans or create regulatory chaos by repealing Colorado’s traditional statewide approach to energy regulation.”

No one from Vital for Colorado attended the meeting, but a handout that listed the seven principles featured the logos of groups and businesses including Club 20, several chambers of commerce and economic development groups, the Colorado Oil and Gas Association, Western Energy Alliance, Colorado Dairy Farmers, Colorado Cattlemen’s Association, Colorado Automobile Dealers Association and Colorado Association of Commerce and Industry, among others.

Voters in five Front Range cities have approved bans or moratoriums on fracking, which uses water, sand and chemicals to crack underground rock formations to allow oil and gas to flow to the surface faster.

Recently, ballot proposals have been filed that would ask state voters to give local governments more control over oil and gas operations.