Lafayette City Council OKs Drilling Moratorium. More Front Range Cities Review Local Control

Lafayette city leaders approved a drilling moratorium Tuesday night. The yearlong pause, designed to give officials more time to craft regulations for development, still needs a second reading to become official.

That move is expected in November.

Extraction Oil & Gas had started the permitting process to explore for oil and gas nearby in unincorporated Boulder County. Commissioners there sounded off against the plans late Monday.

Commissioners filed two protests with the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission against drilling applications from Extraction Oil. The company wants to drill in two areas on the eastern edge of Boulder County.

“If Boulder County had not protested the spacing order it would have just been rubber stamped by the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission,” said Boulder Commissioner Elise Jones. “Since we have protested it we will get a full hearing and airing of the issues before the commission.”

Boulder County isn’t the only hot spot when it comes to the debate over local control.

Broomfield City Council is expected to soon vote on a long-awaited drilling agreement with Extraction Oil & Gas. After much debate, Extraction decided to relocate several of the wells closer to the Adams County border. That angered nearby Adams County residents, who felt they had little say in the matter.

The city of Thornton adopted stricter drilling rules for operators in August, including setbacks between homes and wells that are greater than what the state requires. That drew the attention of industry groups. The Colorado Oil and Gas Association and the American Petroleum Institute sued Thornton this October.