The Colorado Supreme Court on May 2 overturned two local government ordinances against hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” to extract oil or natural gas.
In two different cases, the state’s high court ruled in favor of the Colorado Oil and Gas Association. The court ruled against local governments in Longmont and Fort Collins.
The Colorado Supreme Court concluded that the Fort Collins’ five-year moratorium on fracking and the storage of fracking waste within the city is a matter of mixed state and local concern “and, therefore, is subject to preemption by state law.” The court also held that Fort Collins moratorium “operationally conflicts with the effectiveness of state law.”
The Supreme Court ruling upheld an earlier decision in Larimer County District Court. The case was No. 15SC668, City of Fort Collins versus Colorado Oil and Gas Association.
The court ruled against the City of Longmont’s ban on fracking and the storage and disposal of fracking wastes within its city limits. The Colorado Supreme Court said the ban operationally conflicts with state law. “Accordingly, the court holds that Longmont’s fracking ban is preempted by state law and, therefore, is invalid and unenforceable.”
In the Longmont case, the high court affirmed an earlier ruling by the Boulder County District Court.
The latter case is No. 15SCC667; City of Longmont v. Colorado Oil and Gas Association.