Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Hickenlooper threatens anti-fracking Colorado cities and towns with lawsuits

Gov. John Hickenlooper staked out Wednesday an aggressive stance in favor of state control of oil and gas exploration.

According to a report by Denver television station KCNC, Hickenlooper told reporter Shaun Boyd that his administration would launch court fights against any municipalities that ban hydraulic fracturing within their city limits.

The state has already started down that path. In December attorney general John Suthers' office sued the city of Longmont, arguing that only the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission can regulate where fracking occurs in the state.

The litigation with the Boulder county municipality followed a decision by the community's residents to approve an anti-fracking referendum in the November election.

It was the second lawsuit launched by the state against Longmont. Suthers sued on behalf of COGCC after the city adopted rules last summer that limited the areas in which exploration could occur.

Fort Collins might be the next target. Its city council initially approved on Feb. 19 an ordinance that would ban all oil and gas exploration within the city limits.