The Boulder County District Court judge on Thursday overturned a fracking ban by Longmont city, Colorado but ruled that the ban will still stay in place as the city mulls whether to file an appeal.
Judge D.D. Mallard said that Longmont’s charter amendment clashed with the state’s laws and its desire to promote efficient extraction of oil and gas reserves.
“While the court appreciates the Longmont citizens’ sincerely held beliefs about risks to their health and safety, the court does not find this is sufficient to completely devalue the state’s interest,” wrote Mallard, according to The Denver Post.
Longmont voters banned fracking in 2012 after which the Colorado Oil and Gas Association, the biggest industry group in the state, filed a lawsuit seeking to have the ban declared void. The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, the state industry regulator also joined the suit alongside TOP Operating, the most active oil and gas firm in Longmont.
COGCC also filed another lawsuit against Longmont, which via its City Council, approved stricter oil and gas regulations. This case is yet to be determined.
Parties that joined the city in the lawsuit were Food and Water Watch; Sierra Club; Earthworks; and Our Health, Our Future, Our Longmont, which was the group that first introduced the proposal for the ban before voters.
Fracking or hydraulic fracturing is a technique that uses high-pressure water, chemicals and sand to break open underground rocks in order to release the trapped oil and natural gas. Environmentalists have long opposed it, saying it contaminates air and water supplies. To register for a free 2-week subscription to ForexMinute Premium Plan, visit www.forexminute.com/newsletter.
To contact the reporter of this story; Jonathan Millet at email@example.com