9:46 A.M. Monday, May 2, 2016

The Colorado Supreme Court has ruled to uphold two district court decisions—one that overturned the City of Longmont’s ban on hydraulic fracturing (fracking), and one that overturned the City of Fort Collins’ five year moratorium on fracking.

Colorado_Supreme_Court_courtroomOil and gas operations are defined by Colorado Statute and legal precedent as a state interest, with the preemptive regulatory authority held at the state level.    In other words, where state law and the laws of local governments like Longmont and Fort Collins conflict, the state law holds the higher authority with regard to oil and gas operations.  The Longmont and Fort Collins fracking bans conflicted with the State of Colorado’s ability to regulate the industry.

These decisions allow Weld County residents and property owners around the state to breathe a sigh of relief.  Not only is it now clearer than ever that the local governments may not infringe upon the property rights of their citizens by banning fracking, but Weld County residents can count on the presence of an industry that has bolstered employment, tax revenues, and economic growth in the County for decades.

You can read the Supreme Court’s decisions here:

City of Longmont Colorado; Food and Water Watch; Sierra Club; Earthworks; and Our Health, Our Future, Our Longmont v. Colorado Oil and Gas Association; Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission; Top Operating Company

City of Fort Collins v. Colorado Oil and Gas Association

Also see the Denver Business Journal’s commentary here