It’s September 2017, and I feel like we are watching a bad re-run of Broomfield City Council Shenanigans from August 2013: again engaged with an Oil and Gas Operator and again attempting to lock us into an agreement prior to an election where the citizens have a chance to influence Oil and Gas development in our county.
In August 2013, our Council voted in favor of entering into an agreement, Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), with Sovereign Oil and Gas only 3 months before the election in which citizens voted in favor of a moratorium on new Oil and Gas activity. This gave Sovereign vested rights, which they sold to Extraction. This is a main motivator for why Broomfield looked so favorable for business to Extraction: they already had an agreement to operate here.
Now here we are, only 4 years later, and again the citizens used the Power of Initiative to gather enough signatures to let us vote on Ballot question 301, which holds oil and gas operators accountable to operate in a manner that does not negatively affect the health and welfare of Broomfield citizens and the environment. Why is the majority of our council in favor of rushing into another agreement with Extraction that will give them vested rights prior to an election? If 301 passes, it will not apply to them.
Another major consideration that will not be applicable with a signed MOU are the recommendations of the Update Committee. These have yet to be legally incorporated by our City Council; therefore, Extraction will not be obligated to comply with the Oil and Gas section of our County’s Comprehensive Plan.
This is utterly unacceptable. If Council is unwilling to protect our community, at least let the citizens speak through their Power of Initiative and their vote. I can’t stomach watching the same bad episode of Broomfield City Council Shenanigans again.
There is something we can do: we can speak up about this rogue action of our city council. We can hold them accountable with our voices. Write an email (email@example.com) to the City Council pointing out their disregard for due diligence. Point out the uselessness of the work the Update committee has done if we accept an MOU from Extraction without putting those regulations officially into place. Attend the Broomfield City Council Public Hearing on September 26th to urge the City Council to adopt the Oil and Gas Comprehensive Plan Update before approving the MOU.
Let’s not allow City Council miss this chance to learn from previous mistakes.
Concerned about these developments and the negotiating of the MOU?
Sign and share the citizen-led petition.
By Kim McNaughton, Concerned Broomfield Resident