This lawsuit was a known outcome to both the oil and gas industry, and the “fractivists” who developed and marketed the ill-conceived bans to voters, as all aspects of drilling in the state fall under the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission. Local municipalities cannot create their own rules governing the development of oil and gas resources that counter the COGCC’s regulations. Sadly for Colorado taxpayers, significant government staff time and financial resources will be wasted on (what should be) unnecessary lawsuits, now that several cities have passed their own bans. COGA president and CEO Tisha Schuller explained in a press release:
“That COGA has had to take this action further demonstrates the huge disservice self-described ‘fractivists’ have done to our communities in promoting energy bans. Instead of working constructively with industry and city leaders, extremists have used fear and misinformation to lure cities into passing bans which they know are illegal and will cost staff time and taxpayer money. If there was any other way to deal with the blatant illegality of these bans, our members would certainly pursue it.”
The Ft. Collins ban established a five year fracking ban within the city limits, despite opposition from the city council, chamber of commerce, and the local newspaper. The Lafayette ban was more open ended, with no sunset date on the fracking moratorium.
COGA pointed out in its press release that bans on fracking are essentially bans on production in Colorado, as approximately 95% of Colorado wells are fracked. The group also pointed out that more than 100,000 Colorado families depend on the oil and gas industry for their livelihood, and that the Colorado State Supreme Court said that such local bans were illegal in the state.
PeakNation™ may recall that both Boulder and Broomfield also passed fracking bans this year. The Broomfield election was close and is in the midst of a recount, and there are currently are no active wells within Boulder’s city limits.
The necessity of pursuing this lawsuit is just another example of how fractivists are harming one of Colorado’s best opportunities for economic growth, and, thus, Coloradans.