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The gavel in distress: Larimer County judge denies request

A Larimer County judge has denied the city of Fort Collins’ request to stay his decision overturning the city’s 5-year fracking ban, according to Erin Udell of The Coloradoan. The decision was made last week.

This decision comes only three months after another Larimer County judge overturned Fort Collins’ five-year moratorium on hydraulic fracturing. The moratorium would have stopped new wells from being fracked within city limits for five years while the city performed a study on the health impacts of fracking.

Both rulings are a blow to voters in Larimer County, who have aggressively campaigned in the past to keep the five-year ban in place. However, they could not get around the 60-year-old loophole that is the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Act. Initially passed in 1951, the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Act states that oil and gas activity in Colorado is above all a state priority. Larimer County judges in both cases ultimately had to concede to the ruling, which lead to the overturning of the fracking ban in Fort Collins.

In the past four months, Colorado courts have turned away not one, not two, but three fracking restrictions—including the previously mentioned ban in Fort Collins. In July of this year, a judge upheld COGA’s request to dismiss a fracking ban in Longmont, and in August, the same judge ruled Lafayette’s fracking ban also violated state law.

COGA President and CEO Tisha Schuller issued a written statement on Monday, November 10th and included the following statements:

Colorado courts have spoken repeatedly in the last six months declaring bans on hydraulic fracking to be illegal. COGA has engaged with over 35 communities across the state to develop various forms of local agreements to develop oil and gas resources safely and responsibly. The process we have in place is working, and it is a process other City of Fort Collins itself used. Using precious taxpayer resources to try to uphold an illegal ban does not well serve the citizens of Colorado.”


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