Fracking in Fort Collins, Colorado

Downtown "Old Town" Fort Collins

Downtown "Old Town" Fort Collins (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Fort Collins, Colorado residents are up in arms about the City Council’s decision not to ban Fracking in the city.  The grassroots organization, Clean Water Action, is up in arms about the decision, stating that not only are they fighting the gas and oil companies, but now are fighting Fort Collins, Colorado City Hall.

Just east of Fort  Collins in Weld County, Colorado, finds approximately 18,000 active gas and oil wells, more than any other county in the United States.  The large amount of activity is due to the Niobrara Shale, formation located in northeastern Colorado.  The formation also spreads into parts of Kansas, Nebraska and Wyoming.  This formation is a part of the Denver-Julesburg basin where gas and oil have already been discovered. and have had productive wells since the early 1900’s.  The Niobrara Shale formation has been referred to as possibly the next Bakken field which has brought an economic boom to Williston, North Dakota and the surrounding area.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released new Fracking regulations in April, 2012.  The 588 pages of regulations broke no new ground, as it were, and only addressed to organize current gas and oil industry practices.

Opponents of the Fort Collins decision on Fracking, cite environment, health and property values as reasons for their opposition.  Proponents of Fracking point to Greeley, Colorado’s, success with Fracking.  Greeley, approximately 30 miles southeast of Fort Collins, has about 200 Fracking gas and oil wells within the city limits.  According to Greeley Mayor Tom Norton, the city has no reason for concern, and the wells provide a revenue source for the city.

Given the large number of wells in Weld county Colorado and the City of Greeley, they are showing that both city and rural dwellers can reside side by side with the gas and oil Fracking wells.

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