Anti-fracking groups file motion to reopen case forbidding Longmont’s fracking ban

Colorado Rising and Our Longmont, two anti-fracking advocacy groups, announced Wednesday that they filed a motion in Boulder District Court to reopen the case that forbid the city of Longmont from enacting a fracking ban in 2012 that voters approved with a 60 percent majority.

Though the Colorado Supreme Court ultimately ruled in 2016 that the ban was in operational conflict with state law outlined in the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Act, Colorado Rising and Our Longmont believe the recently approved Senate Bill 181, which provides local governments with the power to regulate the development and production of oil and gas, supercedes the Supreme Court’s ruling.

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“The state of the law has changed and the injunction should be lifted,” Joseph Salazar, the attorney representing Colorado Rising, said. “It’s just that straight forward.”

Before the case can be reopened, however, the Colorado Attorney General’s Office must first confer with The Colorado Oil and Gas Association, Top Operating Company, EarthWorks and the Sierra Club, which make up the other organizations involved in the case.

Salazar said Top Operating Company had gotten in contact with him to say that they would be opposing the motion to reopen the case, at which point the respective attorneys will be making their arguments before a judge in Boulder County District Court.

“Banning responsible energy development in Colorado is illegal,” said Dan Haley, president and CEO of the Colorado Oil and Gas Association. “Taking someone’s property is illegal. The courts have said so. Our elected leaders have said so. We agree with SB 181 sponsors House Speaker KC Becker and Senate Majority Leader Steve Fenberg and Governor Jared Polis, who have all said repeatedly that the legislation does not allow for a ban on oil and gas development. This is political theater, plain and simple. We trust the state of Colorado will also vigorously defend against this political ploy.”

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Source:: The Denver Post – Politics


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