Fracking foes pump out votes in Colorado and Ohio where wells are dry

DENVER — The four local anti-fracking initiatives approved last week by voters in Colorado and Ohio should have roughly the same impact as outlawing surfing in Denver or cliff-diving in Cleveland.

That’s because there’s virtually no hydraulic fracturing taking place in any of the communities that approved the fracking bans.

Food & Water Watch, an anti-fracking group, trumpeted the Nov. 5 votes as “historic victories” for the movement, even as critics dismissed the votes as purely symbolic, given the noticeable lack of oil and gas development in those communities.

Voters in another three towns — Bowling Green and Youngstown, Ohio, and Broomfield, Colo. — rejected the fracking bans. The only Ohio city to approve the anti-fracking “community bill of rights” was Oberlin, a liberal college town where no oil and gas drilling or hydraulic fracturing is taking place, said Mike Chadsey, Ohio Oil and Gas Association spokesman.

“There’s definitely no shale development in the entire county, much less in the city of Oberlin,” said Mr. Chadsey. “I would say this was an easy win for these groups where you have a small liberal-arts college town with lots of students.”

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