Image courtesy of Jeffrey Beall/Wikimedia Commons.

Colorado’s Supreme Court has struck down two local government bans on hydraulic fracturing.

According to the New York Times, the state’s Supreme Court ruled on Monday in two separate decisions that a local fracking moratorium in Fort Collins and a fracking ban in Longmout were invalid because they were pre-empted by state law.

Those decisions upheld previous lower court rulings.

The Colorado Oil & Gas Association (COGA) praised the decision, calling it a victory for both consumers and producers.

“With this legal battle over, we look forward to working with Longmont, Fort Collins and other local communities to find a balance that allows for responsible oil and gas development while still meeting the needs of local communities under Colorado’s already rigorous regulations,” COGA President and CEO Dan Haley said.

The first case was the City of Longmont v. COGA and the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission and involved a challenge to a ban on the use of hydraulic fracturing within the city’s borders and a ban on the storage of hydraulic fracturing waste.

In a decision handed down by Judge Dolores Mallard at the Boulder County court, state law was found to operationally preempt Longmont’s ban.

The second case was the City of Fort Collins v. COGA.

In that case, COGA challenged the validity of a five-year moratorium on hydraulic fracturing and the storage of hydraulic fracturing waste in Fort Collins.

Judge Gregory M. Lammons in the Larimer County District Court held that the moratorium was operationally preempted because it conflicted with state law.

The COGA said that Monday’s decisions could impact other local fracking bans and moratorium, including those in Broomfield and Boulder.

The decision comes just about a year after Texas governor Greg Abbott signed a bill into law that prohibits local governments from banning hydraulic fracturing.

The bill, known as HB 40, prevents city governments from banning hydraulic fracturing and also makes it more difficult for local officials to impose their own oil and gas regulations.

Ohio’s Supreme Court ruled in Feburary of last year that a local ban on hydraulic fracturing can not be used to block drilling activity that is permitted by the state.


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