A group of Colorado Springs residents have sued the city hoping to eventually ban oil and gas drilling, particularly hydraulic fracturing, within the city limits. Hydraulic fracturing, better known as fracking, is a method of extracting trapped gas and oil from beneath the ground. As it grows in popularity, it also becomes more controversial, since the chemically treated fluids and air pollution involved in the process have been associated with groundwater and soil contamination as well as widespread illness in residents living near drilling sites.
The citizens group, Colorado Springs Citizens for Community Rights, filed the lawsuit on May 9, in response to the city’s decision to ban petitions to stop drilling within its borders. In order to prevent petitions, the city denied them the titles necessary for legal circulation. Colorado Springs is not alone; many cities in Colorado are currently grappling with how to address the dangers of shooting water, sand and chemicals into underground wells that accompanies fracking operations.