Fracking ban could be on the ballot

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. Fracking in Colorado has been an ongoing debate for several years but after Longmont passed a ban on fracking the debate has heated up once again.

This time voters could see a proposal for a state-wide ban on the November ballot.

Recently a study by the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado in Boulder looked at the effects of a state-wide fracking ban.

The results show a shocking detriment to the state’s economy; if passed in 2015, more than 68,000 jobs could be lost by 2020 and by 2040 more than 96,000 fewer jobs could be seen.

David Ludlam from Western Slope Colorado Gas and Oil Association said that hydraulic fracturing is used in almost every well drilled today on the Western Slope and in thousands of other wells all over the state.

"Whether we're talking about revenue to local government, jobs to the community or energy for our nation and world, hydraulic fracturing is at the center of all that and is critical to our economy and if we lost that there would be no drilling in our community in the future," said Ludlam.

Ludlam also said, "A state wide ban on hydraulic fracturing would hurt the western slope even more than the rest of the state, every well in Western Colorado that drilled used hydraulic fracturing we helped to pioneer the technology so to lose it would be a detriment to the economy."

In the past few years many towns in Colorado have tried to ban the use of fracking when drilling for oil or gas due to the impacts it can have on resident's health.

Fracking is done by pumping water, sand, and chemicals deep into the ground to release the gas and oil trapped in rocks.

"There is a movement afoot that is looking to put a number of ballot initiatives on the November state-wide ballot that would ban hydraulic fracturing," said Betsy Bair from the Grand Junction Chamber of Commerce, who said the chamber of commerce supports fracking.

Supporters of the ban say that the chemicals used in fracking can get left behind in the rocks is dangerous, unhealthy, and can contaminate water that residents drink.

At this point an official measure to put a ban on fracking hasn't be drafted or approved to be put on the ballot.

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