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   Boulder County: "If you don't like fracking then vote to ban it." Citizens: "That sounds reasonable. Ok." Ban passes. Boulder County: "lulz. One does not simply ban fracking"

16 Nov 2012 03:13 AM   |   17608 clicks   |   Longmont Times-Call
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Sid_6.7    [TotalFark]  
F*ck you people, trying to practice direct democracy on a local level. Don't you have any shame?! There are old money white guys trying to profit at your expenses here, so get ready to bend over and take it in the water table.

15 Nov 2012 08:14 PM
Bontesla     
FTFA: But Toor said Longmont's ban is unlikely to be upheld in court. He said that under current state law, and based on prior court decisions, a Boulder County ban on fracking outside the county's cities and towns probably also would not be upheld.

Despite many residents' demands that Boulder County impose such a prohibition on the process of injecting a mixture of water, sand and chemicals to free up underground oil and gas deposits, Toor said he believes that "we simply do not have that legal option.


So why hold a vote?

15 Nov 2012 08:17 PM
real_headhoncho    [TotalFark]  
upload.wikimedia.orgView Full Size


Ban "fracking?"

15 Nov 2012 08:28 PM
TheBeastOfYuccaFlats    [TotalFark]  

real_headhoncho: [upload.wikimedia.org image 200x250]

Ban "fracking?"


I approve of this reference to the REAL Battlestar Galactica.

15 Nov 2012 08:39 PM
MaudlinMutantMollusk    [TotalFark]  
Next you dumb bastards will start thinking you have "rights"

/when the fossil fuel industry buys someone or something, it STAYS bought

15 Nov 2012 08:58 PM
ArkAngel    [TotalFark]  

Bontesla: FTFA: But Toor said Longmont's ban is unlikely to be upheld in court. He said that under current state law, and based on prior court decisions, a Boulder County ban on fracking outside the county's cities and towns probably also would not be upheld.

Despite many residents' demands that Boulder County impose such a prohibition on the process of injecting a mixture of water, sand and chemicals to free up underground oil and gas deposits, Toor said he believes that "we simply do not have that legal option.

So why hold a vote?


Because it was a referendum. If it got enough petition signatures it was probably required by the town charter.

15 Nov 2012 09:15 PM
thomps     
was this headline submitted by a meme generator?

15 Nov 2012 09:21 PM
nmrsnr    [TotalFark]  
Can somebody explain why/how the ban would be overturned by the courts? The article does a terrible job explaining on what grounds the ban could be challenged.

15 Nov 2012 09:30 PM
GAT_00     

nmrsnr: Can somebody explain why/how the ban would be overturned by the courts? The article does a terrible job explaining on what grounds the ban could be challenged.


Money buys judges.

15 Nov 2012 09:47 PM
Lsherm    [TotalFark]  

nmrsnr: Can somebody explain why/how the ban would be overturned by the courts? The article does a terrible job explaining on what grounds the ban could be challenged.


From what little I could gather, company agreements with the state trump county bans.

15 Nov 2012 09:57 PM
nmrsnr    [TotalFark]  

Lsherm: nmrsnr: Can somebody explain why/how the ban would be overturned by the courts? The article does a terrible job explaining on what grounds the ban could be challenged.

From what little I could gather, company agreements with the state trump county bans.


Thanks, all I could find was that the county "doesn't have the legal authority" but I have no idea what that means.

15 Nov 2012 10:13 PM
Generation_D    [TotalFark]  

nmrsnr: Can somebody explain why/how the ban would be overturned by the courts? The article does a terrible job explaining on what grounds the ban could be challenged.


bribe money, or splitting political hairs over how the voter initiative was written.

15 Nov 2012 10:55 PM
violentsalvation    [TotalFark]  
Secede already you damn county-rightsers.

15 Nov 2012 10:57 PM
RoyBatty     

Sid_6.7: F*ck you people, trying to practice direct democracy on a local level. Don't you have any shame?! There are old money white guys trying to profit at your expenses here, so get ready to bend over and take it in the water table.


Derp, derp, derp, screw the state law also passed in a democratic process, amirite bub?

15 Nov 2012 11:43 PM
log_jammin     

GAT_00: nmrsnr: Can somebody explain why/how the ban would be overturned by the courts? The article does a terrible job explaining on what grounds the ban could be challenged.

Money buys judges.


I forgot that you have a GED in law as well.

16 Nov 2012 01:14 AM
newtigator     
Heh, this surprises you? "Let's have a vote to legalize gay marriage! Ooops.. voters said 'No', guess we'll have another election since they must have made a mistake!" GOTO 10

16 Nov 2012 03:18 AM
Jisaw     
Step 1: Legalize marijuana
Step 2: Make bong water flammable

16 Nov 2012 03:21 AM
Pointy Tail of Satan     
Bah. My perpetual motion machine will make oil obsolete! I look down my nose at you, Ludwig Boltzmann!

16 Nov 2012 03:22 AM
dolphinburger     
as a resident of boulder county who is OK with hydraulic fracturing, i just want to say this:

it's about god damn time boulderites learned that they don't control the whole world.

/they should also learn that bicyclists need to practice defensive riding
//and that even though pot is legal here it's still too expensive
///and that nobody thinks you're cool because you're vegan
///slashies

16 Nov 2012 03:23 AM
PunGent     

GAT_00: nmrsnr: Can somebody explain why/how the ban would be overturned by the courts? The article does a terrible job explaining on what grounds the ban could be challenged.

Money buys judges.


Don't even have to buy the judges. Much of our extraction-industry law was written in the 1800s, when we valued minerals over the environment by a much larger margin.

Attempts to bring even lease rates into the 20th century are, of course, labelled as communism... 

Enjoy the new taste of your drinking water.

16 Nov 2012 03:26 AM
What_Would_Jimi_Do     

GAT_00: Money buys judges.


money buys whatever they want

16 Nov 2012 03:28 AM
Suede head     
Lol "democracy". Welcome to the world, folks. Choose party A or party B, it makes no real difference, we own them both.

16 Nov 2012 03:29 AM
Bonanza Jellybean     
Maybe we could just, y'know, remoke the fracking exemptions to the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Safe Drinking Water Act, etc?

16 Nov 2012 03:29 AM
whidbey    [TotalFark]  
That would totally suck. I feel for a liberal community like Boulder who would totally understand why fracking is a bunch of bullshiat that shouldn't be happening.

16 Nov 2012 03:31 AM
LordOfThePings     

Bonanza Jellybean: remoke


This should be an actual word.

16 Nov 2012 03:31 AM
Shadowtag     

TheBeastOfYuccaFlats: real_headhoncho: [upload.wikimedia.org image 200x250]

Ban "fracking?"

I approve of this reference to the REAL Battlestar Galactica.


I approve as well but I'm going to do it in a way that doesn't make me look old and pig-headed.

/Yes, I grew up with the original, but if you don't like Romo Lampkin then I don't like you

16 Nov 2012 03:32 AM
AverageAmericanGuy    [TotalFark]  
This type of governance, where those in charge can make deals that are clearly at odds with the will of the people and those deals become binding, even after a public referendum, is a travesty and should be against the law.

For example, many municipalities make deals with traffic camera companies from out of state. However, due to the way the contracts are written, the towns and cities must pay the company a minimum figure and then some percentage of revenues collected above that. If the town doesn't take in that minimum figure from the cameras, the town must still pay the company that minimum amount.

When the people get fed up with the scam, they vote the cameras down, only to find that the contract is for a set number of years and breaking the contract would end up costing the taxpayers an obscene amount of money.

It's a travesty.

16 Nov 2012 03:33 AM
What_Would_Jimi_Do     

Suede head: Lol "democracy". Welcome to the world, folks. Choose party A or party B, it makes no real difference, we own them both.


watch this men who made america thing on the history channel. 150 years ago you will see who are the real money makers in the world we live in, in america. this series is awesome.

16 Nov 2012 03:35 AM
sexorcisst     
WHAT?!?!?! NOOOOO!

Oh wait, never mind, I read that wrong. I thought it said "fapping."

16 Nov 2012 03:36 AM
What_Would_Jimi_Do     
you don't want to live where this happens, move away.

16 Nov 2012 03:39 AM
whidbey    [TotalFark]  

What_Would_Jimi_Do: you don't want to live where this happens, move away.


Move out of the country? Pretty sure they can do it just about anywhere.

16 Nov 2012 03:40 AM
Okoboji     
I do believe that this should prove to the community that their vote doesn't mean shiat. As such, it should be a nice turnout for the next elections.... and numerous council members wondering why they weren't elected for new terms...

16 Nov 2012 03:40 AM
BolloxReader     
First you need to send folks to Congress who will reverse the severing of mineral rights from deeds. Then these same folks need to overturn the legislation that says that the highest and best use of land is generally mineral extraction. Then you need them to pass more legislation that turns mineral extraction regulation over to the states.

At which point, it becomes far easier for the companies to buy votes, since state legislatures are under far less scrutiny than Congress.

Face it, we have the best laws money can buy, and the only thing that can change is which level those bought laws originate.

16 Nov 2012 03:42 AM
Ishidan     

LordOfThePings: Bonanza Jellybean: remoke

This should be an actual word.


I'd rather it not be.

/around here, the word "moke" means about the equivalent of "local yokel", usually combined with "arrogant meathead".

16 Nov 2012 03:43 AM
whidbey    [TotalFark]  

Okoboji: I do believe that this should prove to the community that their vote doesn't mean shiat. As such, it should be a nice turnout for the next elections.... and numerous council members wondering why they weren't elected for new terms...


I can't imagine there not being some sort of advocacy going on out there. I mean it's freaking Boulder. Activism City.

16 Nov 2012 03:44 AM
What_Would_Jimi_Do     

whidbey: What_Would_Jimi_Do: you don't want to live where this happens, move away.

Move out of the country? Pretty sure they can do it just about anywhere.


move out of the region.

16 Nov 2012 03:44 AM
fusillade762     
Is fracking really that damaging? I've heard things both ways, so I'm sort of on the fence about this one. And isn't natural gas better than burning coal?

16 Nov 2012 03:45 AM
What_Would_Jimi_Do     

What_Would_Jimi_Do: whidbey: What_Would_Jimi_Do: you don't want to live where this happens, move away.

Move out of the country? Pretty sure they can do it just about anywhere.

move out of the region.


they wont be fracking near me any time soon.

16 Nov 2012 03:45 AM
Bonanza Jellybean     

LordOfThePings: Bonanza Jellybean: remoke

This should be an actual word.


Yeah, a cross between "revoke" and "remove," which is apparently what happened to the smartness in my head.

16 Nov 2012 03:49 AM
whidbey    [TotalFark]  

What_Would_Jimi_Do: whidbey: What_Would_Jimi_Do: you don't want to live where this happens, move away.

Move out of the country? Pretty sure they can do it just about anywhere.

move out of the region.


Into another region where they're fracking. Good plan there, Hendrix.

16 Nov 2012 03:49 AM
OgreMagi    [TotalFark]  
Personally, I think the hate for fraking is unwarranted. With proper safeguards to protect the water supply and the environment it can make us 100% energy self sufficient. But what's wrong with banning it within the city limits? This seems to be a reasonable limitation that should be perfectly legal (unless someone tried to pull a fast one by declaring the city limits to cover the entire country).

16 Nov 2012 03:50 AM
swahnhennessy     
I can understand if it comes down to a matter of civil rights (though the votes to ban gay marriage never seemed to have a problem). You don't want a tyranny of the majority. However, choosing to ban something that does not have protected status seems well within a citizenry's rights. It's basically a HOA on a larger scale, the same as banning Wal*Mart from coming into town. The solution is to vote out the bastards that permitted it and who now refuse to break the contract in violation of their constituents. But that sort of follow-through is rare. Aside from that, they can go the civil disobedience route and physically block the fracking, but that takes even more dedication, and isn't something you're likely to find amongst the NIMBY set, no matter how well-intentioned.

16 Nov 2012 03:50 AM
whidbey    [TotalFark]  

fusillade762: And isn't natural gas better than burning coal?


Just like stabbing yourself in the knee is better than poking yourself in the eye.

We should be putting every penny into renewable energy. Just my two cents.

16 Nov 2012 03:50 AM
Langdon_777     
If voting changed anything it would be illegal.

16 Nov 2012 03:56 AM
violentsalvation    [TotalFark]  

fusillade762: Is fracking really that damaging? I've heard things both ways, so I'm sort of on the fence about this one. And isn't natural gas better than burning coal?


I'm on the fence too. I think it probably can be done safely, but it shouldn't be done just anywhere. Blindly opposing it or blindly supporting it are probably equally stupid.

16 Nov 2012 03:59 AM
thismomentinblackhistory    [TotalFark]  

Sid_6.7: F*ck you people, trying to practice direct democracy on a local level. Don't you have any shame?! There are old money white guys trying to profit at your expenses here, so get ready to bend over and take it in the water table.


It's Boulder, bro. I heard there were dozens of college kids voting that, like, none of the clerks even recognized.

16 Nov 2012 03:59 AM
Gyrfalcon    [TotalFark]  

nmrsnr: Lsherm: nmrsnr: Can somebody explain why/how the ban would be overturned by the courts? The article does a terrible job explaining on what grounds the ban could be challenged.

From what little I could gather, company agreements with the state trump county bans.

Thanks, all I could find was that the county "doesn't have the legal authority" but I have no idea what that means.


What little it explains is here: county's currently limited legal authority to adopt any rules that would substantially conflict with federal and state laws and regulations about oil and gas development, according to Commissioner Will Toor.

This was a county referendum. The laws and regulations on fracking were made at the state and national level. So for a county to vote "ban fracking" has about as much impact on a Federal law as if a city decided to take marijuana off of the DEA Schedule I. A city or state can say it won't enforce a drug law that's on it's own books; but it has no authority to change the federal laws or to remove a drug off the federal schedules.

Also, there are contracts to consider. A county may say "No fracking in our borders" and it could be legal...IF they're willing to pay ABC Gas and Oil the mineral rights they legally bought or contracted for for all the land within the county that they were going to be doing the gas drilling on. Part of contract law and property rights cover the value of the land, and if a county passes a regulation that makes the formerly valuable land worthless, then they can end up owing the contract holder the value of that property. So the County could suddenly find itself on the hook for tens of millions of dollars worth of natural gas if they go ahead and let the citizens have their way--money the citizens may not have realized they were going to have to pony up. It's a lot easier to blame it on the Feds, however, than to explain to the righteously angry citizens that they just cost themselves a lot of tax money by opposing fracking.

16 Nov 2012 04:00 AM
SomeGeologist     
nmrsnr       
 
Smartest
Funniest
  2012-11-15 09:30:38 PM  
Can somebody explain why/how the ban would be overturned by the courts? The article does a terrible job explaining on what grounds the ban could be challenged.


The article does a horrible job. It doesn't even describe how the law is worded.

I am too lazy to find the legislation and read through it so, I'll take a wild stab at it. Since few other people here, despite their opposition to "evil" oil companies, seem to have bothered with educating themselves about the applicable laws.

It has to do with extraction rights and the associated environmental law. The citizens of Boulder likely do not have ownership of the mineral rights to their property. If the gas companies do own the mineral rights, it gives them the right to extract the gas (or whatever other mineral wealth lies under the property). There are environmental regulations that dictate how that gas can be extracted and what precautions must be taken to prevent environmental contamination. The regulations tend to be Federal, and then state level.

Usually, as long as the company owns the extraction rights and complies with state and federal environmental regulations, there is little that local governments can do about it.
It is possible that the county commission could influence some things, but Federal and state regulation take precedent over county.

16 Nov 2012 04:01 AM
nmemkha     

TheBeastOfYuccaFlats: real_headhoncho: [upload.wikimedia.org image 200x250]

Ban "fracking?"

I approve of this reference to the REAL Mormonstar Galactica.


/FTFY

16 Nov 2012 04:03 AM
SomeGeologist     
I just noticed that Gyrfalcon has written a much better explanation than mine.
Please read his in lieu of mine.

16 Nov 2012 04:04 AM
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