At its meeting on October 3rd, the Lafayette City Council will discuss an ordinance that would put a one year moratorium on any new oil and gas drilling until October 2018.
The proposal comes after two oil and gas companies have indicated they are moving forward with plans to drill in the Lafayette-Erie area, and on property between Lafayette and Longmont.
Merrily Mazza is a Lafayette City Council member who brought forward the Climate Bill of Rights earlier this year. The city ultimately adopted a watered down version of Mazza’s proposal. She says the proposed moratorium is just playing by the rule book that the oil and gas association have created.
“The fact that we passed a ban in March they seem to be totally ignoring. The moratorium’s purpose “is to create regulations consistent with the oil and gas conservation commission rules”…this is a capitulation, this says we surrender.”
This is an interactive map of planned drilling in Boulder County. Visit https://eastbocounited.org for more info.
The original Climate Bill of Rights that Mazza proposed had a ban on fracking and had a provision for direct action that said if people are supporting the ordinance with non violent direct action, they would not be arrested by Lafayette police.
“Of course my original version was rewritten by the Mayor Pro-Tem, that piece was removed. What remains, in my opinion is still a ban, and I think the only alternative… because the industry and the politicians that play ball with this industry, have closed off every single avenue to every community. And that is the only alternative now, we have to do some kind of non-violent direct action and I expect public officials to walk with the community and not walk with their political party and the oil and gas industry.”
The city’s moratorium has attracted criticism from the Colorado Oil and Gas Association, an industry trade group. Its president, Dan Haley issued a statement on Friday saying that the proposed ordinance could lead to contentious and expensive litigation that he claims would be funded on the backs of taxpayers. Mazza says that if Lafayette is going to bait COGA, they should go all the way. “If you’re going to poke that beast, the Colorado Oil and Gas Association…which by the way seems to run this state and everyone in it, you might as well poke them and say “no this isn’t going to happen.””
In September East Boulder County United wrote to the Lafayette City Council demanding that they adopt the Climate Bill of Rights that was originally proposed by Mazza which includes a ban on fracking.
Mazza has served one term on the Lafayette City Council and is seeking election for a second term.