Longmont’s new drilling rules lack a mandate among residents, with support mostly split along party lines, according to a newly released poll commissioned by the Colorado Oil and Gas Association.
COGA on Monday released the results of the phone survey. According to the survey by Magellan Strategies of Lousiville, 46 percent of respondents supported local regulation of oil and gas, while 42 percent opposed it, a gap just outside the 3.83 percent margin of error.
When sorted by party, 62 percent of Democratic responders said they supported having local rules, while 59 percent of Republicans opposed the regulations. Independent voters split at 42 percent each way, the survey said, with 16 percent unsure.
“In essence, the City of Longmont is evenly split over the issue of enacting new, local oil and gas production regulations,” David Flaherty of Magellan Strategies said in a memo.
The study’s release came one day before the final Longmont City Council vote on adopting the new rules. The regulations passed a first reading, 5-2, on May 8.
The rules ban surface drilling in residential zones and set up two sets of standards for oil and gas companies: a minimum standard that mostly reflects the state’s rules, and a “recommended” standard under which a company can agree to tougher requirements in exchange for a faster permit process.
COGA and the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission — the state regulatory body — both have said the rules go too far. READ MORE …