EnergyCity is sued over ban on fracking

Published 20 December 2012

An industry group representing oil and gas companies filed a lawsuit Monday against a city in Colorado which has banned hydraulic fracturing; fracking has increased U.S. energy production, but it has also caused contamination of ground water; scientists say fracking may also cause earthquakes

An industry group representing oil and gas companies filed a lawsuit  on Monday  against a city in Colorado whicht has banned hydraulic fracturing.

The Colorado Oil and Gas Association (COGA) deems the ban on hydraulic fracturing that the city of Longmont has established illegal because it blocks operations that state laws allow.

The Denver Post reports that the measure, which voters approved in early November, is the first of its kind in the state of Colorado. The ban allows for oil and gas drilling, but it bans hydraulic fracturing and the storing of fracking waste in the city

Colorado governor John Hickenlooper directed state attorneys to sue the city.

The governor believes Longmont’s fracking ban violates the law and we aren’t surprised that the city has been sued,” the governor’s spokesman, Eric Brown, told the Post.

In fracturing, energy companies blast millions of gallons of water, sand, and chemicals deep underground to loosen oil and gas held in rock. Fracking has become popular recently in the United States andt has increased energy production across the country, but has also raised concerns about air and water contamination, as well as worries that it might  cause small earthquakes.

Coga is now asking the Weld County district court to overturn the resolution passed by Longmont voters.

We recognize and understand that the citizens of Longmont are concerned about the safety of their environment,” COGA president Tisha Schuller said in a written statement.

We hope that the lawsuit can be quickly resolved,” Schuller added, so that industry and the city can cooperate “to address those concerns in a way that does not illegally preclude the safe and responsible development of oil and gas reserves.”

Leaders in Longmont are not going down without a fight. “We will vigorously defend our charter and the will of the people,” city councilwoman Katie Witt told the Post.

Other towns and cities in the state are also pushing toughen health and safety regulations in order to prevent or limit fracking.