Oil and gas industry rattled by Adams County fracking pause

Doris Lovejoy showed support for a fracking moratorium at a public hearing earlier this month.

The Adams County Board of Commissioners voted 3-2 Tuesday to enact a six-week moratorium on new fracking development in high density urban areas.

Commissioner Eva Henry proposed the motion during a public hearing. For 45 days, the county will not issue new permits for wells or well pads within 1500 feet of homes, schools or public buildings inside Adams County urban growth boundaries.

The Board will use that time to consult with an attorney and consider revisions to its current county-industry extraction agreement, or memo of understanding. Drilling companies that sign MOU’s agree to more stringent regulations in exchange for an expedited permit process.

Commissioner Steve O’Dorisio, who supported the moratorium, cautioned against extreme MOU revisions. “If we have an MOU that industry doesn’t want to sign, then it ain’t worth anything,” he said.

Tuesday’s ruling comes two weeks after a contentious, well-attended public hearing which addressed a proposed 10-month countywide moratorium. At that hearing, industry leaders stressed the economic importance of natural gas development and community members voiced concerns about their health and safety.

Adams County is just the latest in a string of local governments contending with this issue. State law prohibits local bans on fracking, leaving municipalities with little power to oppose oil and gas development. Broomfield, Fort Collins, Lafayette and Longmont have all been sued by the Colorado Oil and Gas Association after they passed moratoriums.

Maria Orms, a resident of Adams County, remains frustrated at the lack of options. “Communities have chosen moratoriums because it is the only option given to them by the state. If the COGCC was true to their mission of protecting the health and safety of Colorado citizens, we would not be here.”

In a public Facebook post following the vote, Commissioner Erik Hanson called the vote “shameless and disingenuous political pandering during an election year.”

Before voting against the moratorium, Commissioner Jan Pawlowski said, “We’re going to be sued. This is not going to work out like you think.”

Photo credit: Kelsey Ray


  1. Fake is colorado nothing but a bunch of theifs #1 my grandfather worte all the leases in colorado to start with #2 had the majoirity of all over riding interest in colorado #3 colorado people and colorado politicans stold what didnt belong to them 2/3 of all oil gas an mineral is mine robert reed reichert jr, marcus a degenhart , ( privacy act ) rothchild … Adams county recorded

  2. All coloraado commisioners are stealing my benifits backed by the oboma admin.. Upon a death real property is too be handed over to the benifical party not to be held stolen or for use by any other means of another human being a fake trust adminitration was set up names were wrote on a will that didnt belong and now you have patrica ann murray or bundy alis running the show billions of dollars stolen

  3. YOu folks are incredible. First off, when you purchased your properties, your documents clearly showed that you didn’t own the minerals and that the rights to those minerals could result in someone making the effort and cost to extract them. They OWN them and have a right to them. You complain about your property rights but no one is going onto your property, no one has polluted your property. All of the things you fear are at this point only perceived risks – risks that have much less chance of happening than does the chance of you getting killed in a car wreck. Of course you’ll still put your kids in the car and drive but that’s ok. In summary on point one, you’re more than happy to deny someone an absolute property right in favor of your perceived fear of what might occur, limited probability or not. Secondly, you have no problem getting up in the morning, turning on your lights, firing up your gas furnace to heat your home, taking a warm shower heated by virtue of your gas fired hot water heater, cooking your breakfast over your gas range, jumping in your car to drive to work, etc. This doesn’t even get into the reality of how your food gets to your house from planting to harvest to transportation, etc, how virtually everything you touch in a day comes to you by virtue of what oil and gas contributes to that effort. If you were really so up in arms about the oil and gas industry, why don’t you cut out everything it provides you just to show how devoted to your cause you are? Why not? Because the fact of the matter is, you and your family would likely perish. There’s a term for folks like you – HYPOCRITES. You make me sick.

  4. Theres a better term for shit like u the paperwork is there read it i grew up in this and u my freind are just a theif im sure of it my whole life revoled around your scum not only did he own the over riding interest in colorado also wyoming, montana, north dakota , missiour, kansas and two more states as well owner controler of bnsf uppr and several other corperations so shut your fucking mouth unless you got the math you are just a deturent evil as the rest havent you seen and had enough of what doesnt belong to u or are u just another pegan

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