COGA sues Lafayette over drilling ban
Last Updated: 16:54 December 4, 2013
Lafayette voters in November amended the city's charter to ban all oil and gas development. The nonprofit Colorado Oil and Gas Association says the ban is illegal, since "it directly violates a Colorado Supreme Court holding that a local municipality cannot implement an outright ban on oil and gas development, " according to a press statement announcing the lawsuit on Tuesday. COGA press spokesman Doug Flanders was not immediately available for further comment.
Lafayette spokeswoman Debbie Wilmot declined to comment about the lawsuit, saying only that city officials have not received a copy of it.
"Until we see what they have brought against us, we really don't know what to talk about," Wilmot said. "We have not received any paperwork from (the Colorado Oil & Gas Association)."
While it's "regrettable and unfortunate that COGA had to take this action," there are more than 100,000 families that rely on the oil and gas industry for their livelihoods in Colorado, and such bans effectively stop oil and gas development, Tisha Schuller, the oil and gas association president, said in the press statement.
The Colorado Oil & Gas Association also said Tuesday that it would sue the city of Fort Collins in a related measure.
Fort Collins voters in November approved a five-year ban on an extraction technique known as hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking" as it's commonly known. Hydraulic fracturing - used in 95 percent of all wells in Colorado, according to Schuller - involves pumping a high-pressure fluid of chemicals and sand into drilled holes to extract oil and natural-gas from shale formations.
Oil and natural-gas drilling, including fracking, is regulated in Colorado by the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission.
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