Level 2 Fire Restrictions in effect for all areas of unincorporated Boulder County (See flyer). For updates on active fires, follow BoulderOEM

COVID-19 updates are available in English and Spanish. See list of Resources (Recursos) for those impacted by COVID-19.

News Archive

July 23, 2020

Boulder County Commissioners respond to 350 Colorado’s ballot issue proposal to ban fracking

While we sincerely appreciate the tremendous thought, effort, and support behind this proposal – and we agree that all avenues should be explored to further protect the health and safety of our residents and the environment – for a variety of reasons, we decline to put such a measure on this year’s ballot.

- Board of Boulder County Commissioners

Statement from the Board of County Commissioners

The Boulder County Commissioners are aware of the 350 Colorado petition which is being delivered to us and we’ve received numerous requests to consider putting a measure on the 2020 November ballot creating a new sales tax and directing the revenues to: (1) fund a ban on all oil and gas development in the county; (2) acquire additional mineral rights in the county’s name; and (3) support a transition away from fossil fuel use.

While we sincerely appreciate the tremendous thought, effort, and support behind this proposal – and we agree that all avenues should be explored to further protect the health and safety of our residents and the environment – for a variety of reasons, we decline to put such a measure on this year’s ballot.

While counties do have legal authority to put sales tax measures on the ballot, those taxes are to fund work that the county is otherwise legally authorized to do. For example, county residents have approved sales tax measures to purchase open space, improve infrastructure, and provide mental and physical health services.

A pending court case is challenging the Colorado Supreme Court’s 2016 decision that Longmont could not ban fracking to see if that legal precedent has changed as a result of Senate Bill 19-181. We believe it is in Boulder County’s best interests to wait for the outcome of that case before considering our own ban, however it might get enacted. Until the courts decide the legal issues, we are working extremely hard on amendments to our local oil and gas regulations and on the new rules underway at the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission and the Air Quality Control Commission.

Boulder County is dedicated to the most protective standards possible for county residents and for all Coloradans. We are continuing our work on these and other fronts. To support this work, we have extended our moratorium on accepting new oil and gas permit applications through Dec. 31, 2020. By that time, we will have amended our local regulations to be as protective as possible, the new professional COGCC will have new rules in place under their protective mission, and we may have at least a preliminary answer from the courts on the ban question.

Regardless of what comes after that, we will have built significant new protections at the local and the state level.

Deb Gardner, Elise Jones, Matt Jones
Boulder County Commissioners