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May 2, 2016

Boulder County Commissioners respond to Colorado Supreme Court decision on oil gas drilling

Statement from the Boulder County
Board of County Commissioners

In Response to: 2016 CO 28 and 2016 CO 29
City of Fort Collins v. Colorado Oil and Gas Association
City of Longmont v. Colorado Oil and Gas Association


Today the Colorado Supreme Court announced two decisions overturning efforts by a majority of the residents in Fort Collins and Longmont to limit oil and gas drilling in the form of hydraulic fracturing (or, fracking) within city limits. Both decisions favored the interests of oil and gas industry over the efforts of local communities to protect themselves from the impacts of fracking.

We are disappointed with the Court’s decisions to invalidate these efforts, as they represent a real setback for communities seeking a greater degree of local control over industrial activities like fracking within their boundaries. Despite these setbacks, we applaud Longmont and Ft. Collins for their heroic efforts to protect residents from the environmental and safety risks posed by fracking as well as its nuisance impacts.

Today’s Colorado Supreme Court decisions were specific to the two communities named in the lawsuits. As such, the immediate impacts of these rulings on Boulder County’s regulations, including its temporary moratorium on new oil and gas operations, will need further analysis. Like all other Colorado communities that regulate oil and gas development, we need to take a close look at our existing regulations before we take any action to change our stance on fracking in unincorporated Boulder County.

Knowing that this issue remains of great concern to our residents, we pledge to continue to do everything we can to protect the interests of our community members within the bounds of this new law.

Boulder County Board of Commissioners
Boulder, Colorado

For more information on Boulder County's oil and gas development actions, please visit our Oil Gas webpage.