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Colorado Drops Fracking Lawsuit Against Longmont

August 21st, 2014

In a motion earlier this month, the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission voted to drop its fracking lawsuit against the City of Longmont. The state agency had previously filed a fracking lawsuit against the city’s ban on the practice of hydraulic fracturing within the city limits. The motion also stated that the agency would not bring forth future claims against the city for its restrictive anti-fracking laws.

Fracking Lawsuit and City Laws

The state’s fracking lawsuit stems from a series of measures passed by the Longmont City Council. The city ordinances cover the process of issuing permits for oil and gas exploration that, in some cases, overstep similar state regulations. The ordinances also give the city the right to ban drilling activities in some areas within the city limits. The defense against the fracking lawsuit has reportedly cost the city more than $160,000.

State Files Separate Fracking Lawsuit

While the commission dropped its fracking lawsuit against the city, another case involving the state and the city is still pending. The state and the association have filed a suit in an attempt to circumvent a ban on fracking approved in a ballot measure approved by city voters. The ballot measure prohibits fracking within the city limits. A Boulder County judge issued a ruling last month stating that the voter-approved ban is superseded by Colorado law, but the city has appealed the case.

Other Cities Face Fracking Lawsuits

The controversy over Longmont’s voter-approved fracking ban and the subsequent fracking lawsuits has led other Colorado cities to either reconsider or rescind previous plans for ballot measures of their own. Many of the sponsors of the anti-fracking ballot measures stated that the bans are intended to fight the noise, odors and other environmental dangers posed by fracking operations. Meanwhile, the state’s powerful oil and gas lobby has petitioned for lifting the restrictions, claiming that they limit the industry’s ability to bring much-needed jobs to local populations.

Source: Bureau of National Affairs

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