Quantcast

Colorado Supreme Court to Make Historic Ruling on Fracking Bans

Tensions are rising to a crescendo across Colorado as the Colorado Supreme Court has agreed to hear the extremely controversial issue of whether fracking bans and long-term moratoriums are allowed in the state.

Back in 2012 and 2013, five Colorado cities—Boulder, Broomfield, Lafayette, Longmont and Fort Collins—all enacted long-term moratoriums or bans. Boulder County also enacted a long-term moratorium. So far:

  • The City of Boulder’s long-term moratorium was not challenged and remains intact.

  • Boulder County’s long-term moratorium was not challenged and remains intact.

  • Broomfield’s long-term moratorium was challenged by the Colorado Oil and Gas Association and lost in court and then the Broomfield City Council was granted a “suspension” of their appeal of the case pending the outcome of the Colorado Supreme Court case.

  • Lafayette’s ban was challenged by the Colorado Oil and Gas Association and lost in court and then the Lafayette City Council did not to appeal the decision.

  • Longmont’s moratorium was challenged by the Colorado Oil and Gas Association and lost in court and then the City Council appealed the decision.

  • Fort Collins’ long-term moratorium was challenged by the Colorado Oil and Gas Association and lost in court and then the City Council appealed the decision.

The Supreme Court has combined the two cases from Longmont and Fort Collins and is expected to start hearing briefs by the end of 2015.

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper continues to be a very controversial and outspoken supporter of fracking across the state—he opposed the bans and moratoriums and then he forced the State of Colorado to sue Longmont when their ban took effect (he later dropped the lawsuit). Just this week, Hickenlooper stated in a public radio interview that he expected the Supreme Court—which he appoints—to rule to support the Colorado Oil and Gas Association. He said the Court should see the bans and moratoriums as a type of “private property rights taking,” similar to “eminent domain” that requires “compensation” paid by the cities to the owners of the oil and gas mineral rights.

I see it differently. If the issue of “takings” is considered by the Colorado Supreme Court, it should also include the “taking” that forces fracking down the throats of home-owning citizens thereby taking their property values, health, safety and quality of life. If Governor Hickenlooper wants to talk about “takings” and “compensation,” then by all means the Supreme Court should consider it both ways.

Will the Colorado Supreme Court compensate homeowners for the harms caused by fracking? An endless stream of stories race across the media in Colorado about how people have been hurt, wronged, impacted, made sick, left nearly homeless, etc. by fracking very near their homes. It’s time to let the Supreme Court weigh in.

Gary Wockner, PhD, is an environmental activist and writer based in Fort Collins and was heavily involved in supporting the moratoriums and bans. Contact: Gary@GaryWockner.com.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Leonardo DiCaprio Pledges to Divest From Fossil Fuels as Movement Grows 50-Fold in One Year 

Senate Democrats Unveil Energy Bill to Signal ‘Full-Throated Support’ of Obama’s ‘Aggressive’ Climate Plan

Hillary Clinton Breaks Keystone XL Silence, Announces Her Opposition to the Pipeline

Obama, Sanders, Kennedy Praise Pope’s Call to Action on Climate Change

Show Comments ()

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Bernie Sanders holds his first presidential campaign rally at Brooklyn College on March 02 in Brooklyn, New York. Kena Betancur / VIEWpress / Corbis. Getty Images

Bernie Sanders has become the first contender in the crowded 2020 Democratic presidential primary field to pledge to offset all of the greenhouse gas emissions released by campaign travel, The Huffington Post reported Thursday.

Read More Show Less
An aerial view of the flooding at the Camp Ashland, Nebraska on March 17. Nebraska National Guard / Staff Sgt. Herschel Talley / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

The record flooding in the Midwest that has now been blamed for four deaths could also have lasting consequences for the region's many farmers.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored

In tea, food, or just on your windowsill, embrace the fragrance and fantastic healing potential of herbs.

Read More Show Less

By Ana Santos Rutschman

The world of food and drug regulation was rocked earlier this month by the news of a change in leadership at the Food and Drug Administration. Commissioner Scott Gottlieb resigned and will step down in early April. His temporary replacement is Dr. Ned Sharpless, director of the National Cancer Institute.

Read More Show Less
MartinPrescott / iStock / Getty Images

On Wednesday the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the first 20 chemicals it plans to prioritize as "high priority" for assessment under the Toxic Substances Control Act. Given the EPA's record of malfeasance on chemicals policy over the past two years, it is clear that these are chemicals that EPA is prioritizing to ensure that they are not properly evaluated or regulated.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Strawberries top the Environmental Working Group's "Dirty Dozen" list of U.S. produce most contaminated with pesticides. DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP / Getty Images

Which conventionally-grown fruits and vegetables in the U.S. are most contaminated with pesticides? That's the question that the Environmental Working Group answers every year with its "Dirty Dozen" list of produce with the highest concentration of pesticides after being washed or peeled.

Read More Show Less
A drilling rig in a Wyoming natural gas field. William Campbell / Corbis via Getty Images

A U.S. federal judge temporarily blocked oil and gas drilling on 300,000 acres of federal leases in Wyoming Tuesday, arguing that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) "did not sufficiently consider climate change" when auctioning off the land, The Washington Post reported.

Read More Show Less
Mizina / iStock / Getty Images

By Ryan Raman, MS, RD

Oats are widely regarded as one of the healthiest grains you can eat, as they're packed with many important vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

Read More Show Less