Today, the Colorado Oil and Gas Association, along with API, sued the City of Thornton for passing what the oil and gas industry is calling illegal energy regulations this past August. Chief among the complaints is that the laws are illegal and the stakeholder process was “extremely limited.” COGA claims that it tried to avoid litigation by submitting multiple letters articulating legal concerns about the new laws’ conflict with state law.

Here’s what COGA chief Dan Haley said about the litigation:

“Active drilling along Colorado’s Front Range has been ongoing for more than a century, as we have one of the most prolific – and most regulated – natural resource basins in the country. As Colorado communities grow and expand, it is important to keep in mind where our natural resources exist, the value development provides our economy and our national security, and the respect we must have for individual property rights on the surface and below. Working together with these factors in mind would improve the likelihood for broad stakeholder success, and limit the likelihood for expensive litigation funded on the backs of taxpayers.”

It’s unclear how much the litigation will potentially cost taxpayers, but it seems that this could have been entirely preventable.