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I support SB-181 and thank the environmental advocacy group, Our Longmont, and its legal counsel for pursuing the ability for Longmont to follow our city charter.
SB-181 does nothing more than allow local governments to follow their charter without intervention. It is only the residents of the municipalities, by a democratic voting process, that get to decide what goes into or out of that charter.
Longmont’s City Charter is our constitution. Proposition 300 which passed in 2012 by a 60 % vote, was an amendment to our city charter to ban fracking in Longmont. The ban hasn’t happened but SB-181 may be able to change that.
As one of your council members, I feel that it is my duty to protect and preserve the health of our city. That includes our residents, our water and our earth.
How does one quantify the amount of money to be spent on this preservation? Does the economic factor outweigh the cost of health?
The legal counsel for Our Longmont has sued Longmont once to get us to join in the legal battle in district court. The cost was minimal considering what we spend in other areas. For example, we have paid RTD over $60 million dollars to provide rail to and from Union Station in Denver. Why aren’t said councilors raging in opinions to news media over this much greater cost?
The $3 million that Longmont is paying to TOP Operating Co. and Cub Creek can be looked at through different lenses. This $3 million is coming out of royalties the city should be getting from selling our mineral rights. Instead, we have to give the royalties back to these companies for moving their wells off of public property and removing a flow line that went through residential neighborhoods. Part of the agreement to move wells off of public lands is that Union Reservoir would be and is being fracked.
This body of water is supposed to be our household water and outside grey water when our city reaches population capacity. Why are we fracking it?
We are in an era where our sources of energy are evolving. Renewable energy is the path that the entire world is going to use. It isn’t just Longmont’s vision, it’s the world. As we watch our country burn up and flood, it’s up to us to change our trajectory and turn this around. Longmont should support any legislation or organization, such as SB-181 and Our Longmont, that is on board to make this switch happen.
This article expresses my personal opinion, not that of city council.
Longmont City Council-At Large