Fort Collins Fracking Moratorium Thrown Out

Aug 7, 2014

A judge has ruled that a voter approved moratorium on fracking in Fort Collins violates state law.

The industry group Colorado Oil and Gas Association sued the city over a 5 year moratorium on fracking. COGA said the measure was illegal, citing a 1992 Colorado Supreme Court ruling in which the city of Greeley unsuccessfully attempted to ban oil and gas development.

Fort Collins was one of four Front Range cities with all out bans or moratoriums on the 2013 election ballot. The Fort Collins City Council was against the measure, albeit narrowly.

In late July, a Boulder district court invalidated the 2012 voter approved fracking ban in Longmont, the first of the recent bans or moratoriums to fall in court. Lafayette, Broomfield and Boulder still have their bans or moratoriums in place, although Lafayette has been sued by COGA.

Earlier in the same day as the Fort Collins decision, the state agency that oversees oil and gas development said it would drop its lawsuit against the city of Longmont over its oil and gas regulations, which are separate from the ban. This was one of the conditions of a compromise plan announced by Governor John Hickenlooper to keep four ballot measures on fracking off of the November 2014 election ballot.

It’s not clear what recourse the city of Fort Collins may take.