May 1st, 2017 marked the end of Boulder County’s five year moratorium ban on oil and gas drilling in Boulder County. The county has now prepared to start receiving oil and gas application in unincorporated areas, and gas companies are chomping at the bit to get in and drill. Not only will the acceptance of oil and gas drilling create habitat fragmentation, but will also have an effect on resident’s health and climate change.
It has been argued that the by-products of oil and gas production contribute to climate change. In Boulder County, an application by Crestone Peak Resources has been submitted for 200 plus wells. Now that Boulder County can no longer have a moratorium on gas applications, sit-ins and marches have already taken place by local citizens and student groups. CU Fossil Free has held multiple marches and protests across campus to confront any new investments that CU Boulder makes in fossil-fuel companies.
CU Fossil Free’s Facebook page states the group’s aims: “We believe such action on behalf of The University of Colorado will not only be a sound decision for our institution’s financial portfolio, but also for the wellbeing of its current and future graduating classes, who deserve the opportunity to graduate with a future not defined by climate chaos.”
Boulder mayor Suzanne Jones agrees that in order to get onto a clean and good future, it’s important to get off of fossil fuels. According to a recent report by NASA, carbon dioxide levels are the highest they’ve in over 650,000 years.
Boulder County Commissioner Elise Jones shares that the state of Colorado will begin working on regulations towards clean air this coming summer. Commissioner Jones is also working with the county to ensure that if oil and drilling takes place in Boulder County, it will take place as far way from homes, schools, and communities as possible. Any attempt to continue an oil and gas ban within Boulder County has the potential for future lawsuits.