City in Colorado Is Sued Over a Drilling Ban

From NY Times

By Jack Healy

An industry group representing oil and gas companies has sued a city in Colorado that outlawed hydraulic fracturing, saying voters had no right to ban the drilling practice.

The lawsuit, filed on Monday by the Colorado Oil and Gas Association, seeks to overturn the ban on the contentious practice that passed by a wide margin last month in the northern Colorado city of Longmont. The measure, the first of its kind in the state, still allows oil and gas drilling within city limits, but it prohibits hydraulic fracturing, which has lifted energy production across the country but has raised concerns about air and water contamination.

The oil and gas association said the ban amounted to a prohibition on all efforts to tap the estimated $500 million in oil and gas resources locked in the rocks deep beneath Longmont.

“The ban is illegal, and we expect it to be overturned by the courts,” said Tisha Schuller, the president of the group.

City officials had been bracing for a lawsuit challenging Longmont’s right to make rules for an industry regulated largely by the state and federal authorities. Colorado officials opposed the city’s ban but have declined to sue to overturn it.

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