Frustrations Build as Broomfield City Council Votes 6-3 to Indefinitely Delay the Vote on a Moratorium
Mar. 1, 2017, Broomfield, Colo. — In another packed City Council meeting, overflowing into the lobby and the basement of the city and county building, Broomfield residents spoke to their desire to work with Broomfield City Council, while continuing to leave open the possibility of a short-term moratorium on oil and gas development. Many residents wore white, showing solidarity against operator Extraction’s latest plan for 139 wells.
According to Dr. Susan Speece, Anthem Ranch resident, “Broomfield’s citizens have been walking forward with a good faith effort to collaborate with Broomfield City Council and with Extraction, as well as with the new Oil and Gas Taskforce that is being formed. That said, we are surprised that our City Council voted to indefinitely delay the moratorium tonight.
More than 825 people signed a petition asking the council to simply delay the moratorium to mid- to late-May, but the counter proposal and vote to indefinitely delay it went against those citizen desires and effectively left Proposed Ordinance No. 2038 (a temporary and short-term moratorium) to die on the vine.”
Continued Speece, “We do appreciate that there may be other measures, including declaring an emergency status, that could help us re-initiate the reading and vote of a moratorium. We’ll be learning more about that possibility in the days ahead.”
Following a well-attended public forum at 1stBank Center, the City Council has been busy screening and appointing local residents to serve on a committee that will be responsible for updating the city’s master plan, specific to oil and gas development. A total of 48 candidates applied, with in-person interviews taking place on Monday evening. Membership of the Update Committee was approved by the City Council on Tuesday evening and committee work will begin in the days ahead.
According to Ann Marie Byers, who represents the Wildgrass neighborhood’s official Oil and Gas Committee, “I am surprised by the Council’s decision to take this lack of action on moratorium tonight. Leaving the moratorium in a state of indefinite delay, versus postponing it to a later date, may seem like a nuance but the outcomes and messages are vastly different. We have heard consistently that the Council has limited tools in its toolbox. Now it seems it has shelved its largest tool. If Extraction does not participate with the Task Force, or agree to comply with its recommendations, we will be starting from scratch. This is exceptionally disappointing, especially considering how clear the constituents were on their position.”
A petition to delay a vote on the moratorium began circulating Sunday afternoon. By the time Tuesday’s City Council meeting began, the petition had more than 825 signatures.
To read the petition, visit: https://www.change.org/p/broomfield-city-council-delay-the-moratorium-don-t-vote-it-down.
Broomfield Coalition of Concerned Neighborhoods is an affiliation of neighborhood groups working to address the issues presented by oil and gas development in the community of Broomfield. Neighborhood representation includes: The Anthem Ranch Oil & Gas Education Group, Wildgrass Oil and Gas Committtee and residents from Anthem Highlands, the Broadlands, McKay Landing, Redleaf, Silverleaf and others.
For editorial inquiries, interviews with Speece, Byers or other residents, or additional information, please contact Jennifer Dulles.
Imagery and short video clips of Tuesday evening’s City Council meeting are also available upon request.