Colorado has joined a lawsuit challenging the new Obama administration rules on fracking, arguing correctly that states, not the feds, have regulatory power over the energy development process.
Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman on Friday signed onto the lawsuit in Wyoming with natural gas powerhouse North Dakota, and told the Denver Business Journal their lawsuit would prove that the BLM overstepped its boundaries when it invaded state regulatory authority.
Color us cynical when the federal government says it needs to do the same thing states are doing, only they need more delays for time and the money for staffing, because they can’t really do it as efficiently and quickly as states are already doing it.
A suspicious person might think their sole aim was a backdoor ban to appease their environmental constituents.
The lawsuit raises a straightforward legal question: whether BLM can impose its own regulations on hydraulic fracturing, even though federal law does not give it that power and instead allows states to regulate in this area, the Attorney General’s office said.
“Colorado has robust regulations on oil and gas development, including hydraulic fracturing, and our agency regulators are doing a good job implementing them,” Coffman said. “I believe it is important to test BLM’s novel assertion of regulatory authority in an area that has been traditionally — and in this case expressly — reserved for the states.”
Coffman added that this is not about whether hydraulic fracturing should or should not be regulated. Instead, she said, the debate is about hydraulic fracturing is complicated enough without the federal government encroaching on states’ rights, Coffman said.
Kudos to Coffman for intervening in this lawsuit, and for standing up for Colorado’s right to regulate this industry that we have safely done for decades.
This is an important legal battle that should be fought until the feds scream uncle, or the Supremes rule in our favor.