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Fracking Bans Clear Fort Collins City Council

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The Fort Collins City Council slammed the door on fracking within city limits Tuesday and potentially opened another door to legal action.

With a large crowd looking on, council members voted 5-2 on Tuesday to give final approval to an ordinance that prohibits hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, within the city.

Council members Wade Troxell and Aislinn Kottwitz opposed the ordinance, which would also ban storage of materials and waste from fracking in the city.

Mayor pro tem Kelly Ohlson said state regulators have no credibility with him, nor does Gov. John Hickenlooper, who said last week the state would sue the city if it passed a ban.

"I believe the governor should spend his time protecting the health and safety and welfare of citizens of Colorado rather than acting like the chief lobbyist for the oil and gas industry," he said. "In fact, I think he should literally quit drinking the fracking Kool-Aid."

Council member Wade Troxell said the city is not feeling the same pressure to develop oil and gas that other cities have. A ban is little more than a symbolic gesture, he said.

His job is to "do what's best for Fort Collins," he said.

"I honestly believe by voting no, I'm doing the right thing for the citizens of Fort Collins," he said.

The council heard about 65 speakers, with nearly all urging them to impose the ban. Several said the city needs to protect the city's air and water quality from pollution generated by fracking.

Resident Julius Lisi said he moved to Fort Collins because of its high quality of life and clean environment and he doesn't want that to change. The city should stand up to the threat of a lawsuit by Hickenlooper, he said.


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