Cathy Proctor – Reporter-Denver Business Journal – October 15, 2014
Colorado is at the forefront of a national conversation on how close oil and gas operations should be to homes, schools and neighborhoods.
“People are watching Colorado, across the board, politically and policy-wise,” saidDoug Flanders, the spokesman for theColorado Oil & Gas Association, an industry trade group that has sued three Colorado cities over voter-approved bans on fracking within their jurisdictions.
“Colorado is definitely in the center of the country and at the center of attention for legal, politics and policy on this issue,” Flanders said.
Voters in five Front Range cities in 2012 and 2013 approved bans or years-long moratoriums on fracking within their jurisdictions.
Since July, judges have struck down three of those bans, in Longmont, Fort Collins and Lafayette, while the bans are still in pace in Boulder and Broomfield. Longmont and Fort Collins are appealing the decisions.
The three district-court rulings against the fracking bans are considered good signs by oil and gas companies, Flanders said.
The industry already has invested billions of dollars in Colorado’s growing oil fields north and east of Denver, and more investment is expected.
“These are critical cases for companies as they’re making development plans,” Flanders said.
“Small companies need to know if they can operate in Colorado, and for big companies that operate in multiple locations in the U.S. or around the world. They have to ask whether they should stay here in the state, and knowing that the momentum of the case is with us is a positive sign for the Colorado business environment,” he said.