State’s high court calls Longmont, Fort Collins measures on fracking “invalid and unenforceable”
By Bruce Finley – The Denver Post – May 2, 2016
The Colorado Supreme Court on Monday blocked a push by Front Range cities to limit oil and gas development near people, ruling state power to promote industry trumps local bans, which the court deemed “invalid and unenforceable.”
The court rejected Fort Collins’ five-year moratorium on fracking within the city limits. Justices concluded that measure “operationally conflicts” with state law and therefore, under well-established principles, is pre-empted by state rules that allow some drilling in neighborhoods. They also rejected Longmont’s 2012 ban on fracking and disposal of fracking waste in the city because it “materially impedes” state power.
It is a landmark decision redefining Colorado’s landscape for producing fossil fuels — one that ignited passions on both sides at a time of intensifying political controversy.
Colorado has emerged as a leading oil and gas producer with more than 50,000 active wells and more than 45,000 inactive wells. While companies want to be able to increase production, residents are revving ballot campaigns to amend the constitution or give locals more power to regulate hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, the industry’s method of rocketing sand, millions of gallons of water and chemicals deep underground to accelerate extraction of oil and gas. Continue reading “Colorado Supreme Court rules state law trumps local bans on fracking” »