East Boulder County United, an anti-fracking advocacy group, will begin a petition drive next week to get a measure on the November ballot that would prohibit any new oil and gas extraction within Lafayette city limits.
The group finalized language with the city for what it is calling the Lafayette Community Rights Act, which also encompasses the broader goals of maintaining access to clean air and clean water, and to the community's right of self-determination.
"We hold that the rights of people and communities are the highest governmental authority, and that corporate interests are subordinate to the health, safety, and sustainability of the Lafayette community," the measure reads.
Lafayette declined earlier this year to impose a moratorium on new drilling operations in the city but did draft language for a temporary ban, which it could enact in the event an application from an energy extraction company is submitted to the city.
East Boulder County United is holding a kick-off meeting at the Vitamin Cottage, 100 South Boulder Road, at 6 p.m. Tuesday. The meeting will underscore the campaign's ideas and goals, and train volunteers in gathering signatures necessary to get the measure before voters.
If the measure makes it to the ballot -- group spokesman Cliff Willmeng said around 900 Lafayette signatures are needed -- it would come a year after Longmont voters approved a fracking ban in that city. Longmont has since been sued by the state and the oil and gas industry on the grounds that it overstepped its local regulatory authority.
Earlier this week, Boulder imposed a one-year moratorium on new permits for oil and gas operations in the city while an attorney for Boulder County said the county doesn't have the authority, under state law, to put a proposed ban on oil and gas drilling onto a county ballot.
Boulder County's moratorium on accepting and processing drilling applications is set to expire on Monday. ___