Voters in Loveland, CO, on Tuesday rejected a ballot measure seeking to impose a two-year moratorium on hydraulic fracturing (fracking) within the city limits. The result prompted swift responses from industry and citizen groups supporting the drilling practice.

Five other Colorado cities already have enacted some form of ban on fracking, with four cities passing ballot initiatives last November (see Shale Daily, Nov. 18).

The mail-in vote in Loveland was 10,844 opposed and 9,942 in support of the measure, according to a spokesperson. The city clerk mailed 45,000 ballots to registered voters in the city in Larimer County; 2,500 were returned as undeliverable. Loveland put the matter on the ballot last year (see Shale DailyDec. 20, 2013).

Colorado Oil and Gas Association (COGA) CEO Tisha Conoly Schuller attributed the Loveland win to voters who rejected "the fear and misinformation sown throughout this campaign” and "said yes to responsible energy development."

Similarly, a spokesman for the pro-drilling group Coloradans for Responsible Energy Development (CRED) said the vote confirmed that "fact trumps fiction in the national debate on fracking."

"Loveland voters took the responsibility upon themselves to learn the truth about this important technology and take action on this important local matter," said CRED communications director Jon Haubert. CRED has promoted the idea that "when individuals have the facts, they support fracking," he said

Another pro-drilling group also was enthusiastic about the vote.

"Loveland voters told extremists to take a hike,” said Karen Crummy of Protect Colorado's Environment, Economy and Energy Independence. The voters sent a "clear message to extreme front-groups funded by out-of-state interests" that banning responsible energy development would not prevail in Colorado.