Cathy Proctor – Reporter – Denver Business Journal
Broomfield’s ban on fracking doesn’t apply to Sovereign Operating Co., a Denver-based oil and gas company that had reached a “memorandum of understanding” with the city before voters in November 2013 narrowly approved a ban on the use of hydraulic fracturing within the town’s borders.
The Sept. 25 judicial decision was hailed by the Colorado Oil & Gas Association(COGA).
“This is yet another victory for certainty and clarity in the way Colorado regulates oil and gas operations,” said Tisha Schuller, COGA’s president.
“In just the last several months three previous rulings have found that fracking bans are on their face unlawful, and now another court has found that agreements between a city and a local operator prior to bans passing are binding,” Schuller said.
Fracking uses water, sand and chemicals to crack underground rock formations, allowing oil and natural gas to flow out of the rock and into a well.
The technique is credited with a boom in oil and natural gas production in Colorado and across the United States. But it’s also been the target of people worried about drilling operations near their communities, as well as those opposed to the production and use of fossil fuels.
Last week, 17th Judicial District Court Judge Christopher Melonakis issued his decision in a case filed by Sovereign over whether the company was bound to comply with the city’s fracking ban. Oil and gas industry regulators and experts have said that fracking is an integral part of industry operations.