|Fracking in Loveland City Limits
Below is a commentary on fracking provided to LovelandPolitics
and other media outlets by Daryle Klassen
By Loveland Mayor Pro Tem Daryle Klassen
An extremely heated issue is running throughout Colorado, especially along our Front Range. New technologies
and mineral discoveries within the oil and gas industry, and a drilling technique most commonly called fracking,
have now brought oil and gas production closer to cities and towns along the front range. It should be noted
that Fracking has been occurring in Loveland for over 50 years.
All nine members of the Loveland City Council have now become the focal point to decision making regarding
this important issue. We have been through public hearings lasting into the morning hours, confronted on the
streets, and the recipients of many E-mails. We have been asked to support fracking, deny it, regulate it, put it to
a vote, or just outright ban it. We have received factual information, and have received emotional information
on both sides of the issue.
This statement of position is of myself. I do not speak for the other eight members of city council. I wish to
make clear where I am coming from and why. My position is formulated from six distinct viewpoints and self
Position number one. When sworn into office, I took a vow. This vow calls for me as an elected official to
support the laws and the Constitution of the State of Colorado. Now, what do the laws of the State of Colorado
say about fracking within various municipal and township city limits ?? The law says, and the courts have issued
decrees which say we cannot ban fracking within our city limits. As a council member, I am being asked by
many concerned citizens to violate the laws of the State of Colorado. Governor Hickenlooper knows this all too
clearly, and suffers the wrath of many of his supporters because he too is sworn to uphold the law. A very
important law protects mineral rights. Deny them, and it's called a "taking."
Position number two. I am elected to, as best I can, protect the health, safety and welfare of our citizens. In this
regard, City Council has directed our planning staff to design and formulate rules and regulations, within
Colorado law, that will best protect the health, safety, and welfare of our citizens. Council has directed these
rules and regulations be designed as tight and protective as Colorado law and the oversight of the Oil and Gas
Commission will allow. Loveland's planning staff has performed in high manner, with research and in the
formulation of our rules and regulations, now adopted. In my judgment, when all the smoke has cleared and
the court decrees are completed, Loveland's rules and regs will be a model and template for other Colorado
cities to follow. I support these rules and regs. It should be noted that Loveland's rules could possibly be a
moving destination. As I write, the Colorado Legislature is submitting legislation that could change the laws and
boundaries of oil and gas regulations. When and if this happens, I would be anxious to redraw Loveland's
regulations, as tight as possible, to the new boundaries, whatever they may be.
Position number three. For Loveland to not follow Colorado law is to invite litigation. Such is the case with our
good neighbors to the south and to the North. Longmont issued a ban on fracking and is now the target of State
legal action. To the North, Fort Collins voted to ban fracking within their city limits. I find this ironical, because
only days later, an oil company made application for five new wells within their city limits, and Ft. Collins
immediately violated their ban on fracking, and are permitting the wells to be drilled. In my judgment, my
opinion only, the possibility that denial of these permits, would have given the oil company easy litigation access
into the Ft. Collins treasury. Remember the law, whereby government can be guilty of a "Taking," with resulting
huge monetary damages.
Position number four. I support the avoidance of litigation whenever possible. The State of Colorado has
already sued Longmont for their ban on fracking. In my judgment, the State will also soon bring suit against
other Colorado cities who vote to ban fracking. This Loveland City Council initially took the position of drawing
rules and regulations that would avoid litigation, yet would protect our citizenry. My position is to remain firm
with these well drawn regulations. Should the law change, we will change. In the meantime, we have rules that
protect our citizens to the best of our ability.
Position number five. I support the protection of property rights, both surface and sub-surface (minerals).
Position number six. Economic vitality is paramount with me. Our entire well being, nationally, statewide, and
especially locally, is totally dependent upon jobs. The United States must become energy independent. The
recovery of energy, wherever it is located and found, must occur. Yes, it must be accomplished in safe, healthy,
and environmentally protective procedures. Loveland's adopted rules and regs offer these protections.
To the many inquiries for private response from me, I hope these clearly stated positions will suffice. I will not
walk the fence in my positions and philosophies.
|Fracking protester in Washington, D.C.
Loveland residents have lined-up on both sides
of this national issue and filled the council
chamber on two occasions to provide
testimony. Many of the arguments used reflect
the national debate going on in communities
across the country. A number of outspoken
citizens in Loveland have asked the city council
to ban fracking entirely within the city limits.
|Loveland Mayor Pro Tem Daryle Klassen