The Colorado Oil & Gas Association sued the cities of Fort Collins and Lafayette, saying bans on the extraction of oil and gas voted by citizens there are preempted by state laws regulating those resources.
Reuters said, the association wants court orders to permanently block the bans.
Fort Collins voters on Nov. 5 blocked all hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, for oil and gas for five years. Lafayette voters amended their city charter to bar oil and gas extraction.
“With 95 percent of all wells in Colorado hydraulically fractured, any ban on fracking is a ban on oil and gas development,” association President Tisha Schuller said in a statement announcing the court filing.
The bans violate the state’s Oil and Gas Conservation Act, which requires uniform regulation, according to the complaints. Colorado’s Supreme Court has held state law preempts local regulations when an issue is comprised of mixed state and local concerns, Schuller said in the statement.
The cities targeted by the challenge didn’t comment when contacted by Reuters.
“In hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, water, sand and chemicals are shot underground to break apart rocks and free up trapped natural gas or oil. Use of the technique has led to a boom in production in states such as Pennsylvania, Texas, North Dakota and Colorado,” Reuters said.
The cases are Colorado Oil & Gas Association v. City of Fort Collins, 2013CV031385, Larimer County, Colorado, District Court (Fort Collins); and Colorado Oil & Gas Association v. City of Lafayette, Colorado, 2013CV031746, Boulder County, Colorado, District Court (Boulder).