Mountain States

Colorado Supreme Court Rules Local Fracking Bans are “Invalid and Unenforceable”

The Colorado Supreme Court ruled this morning that the City of Longmont’s fracking ban and the City of Fort Collins’ five-year moratorium are “invalid and unenforceable.”  As Colorado Public Radio reports, the court put it simply to anti-fracking groups: “We are not persuaded.”

Just after the news was announced, Food & Water Watch even admitted that it was a “devastating blow” to national activist groups who have descended on Colorado to push their extreme anti-energy agenda on local communities.

The court’s ruling comes as good news for local communities that reap economic benefits from oil and gas development but have also been threatened with bankruptcy by activist groups whose efforts have a history of leaving communities on the hook for high legal bills. For instance, the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund’s (CELDF) founder even told Reuters that bankrupting a community might be “exactly what is needed” in order to achieve fracking bans:

“And if a town goes bankrupt trying to defend one of our ordinances, well, perhaps that’s exactly what is needed to trigger a national movement.”

Colorado’s local communities have long been a target of national activist organizations seeking to drive oil and gas development out of the state. The Sierra Club, Earthworks and Food & Water Watch (F&WW) even joined the Longmont case as petitioners in support of local fracking bans.

Yet true to form, and adhering to their earlier promise to continue their campaign “no matter what” the court decides, Washington D.C.-based F&WW took to social media with this message:

“[I]t’s exactly why we need to pass the Coloradans Resisting Extreme Energy Development ballot measures this November.”

In other words, anti-fracking activists won’t let things like the law or the facts get in the way of their ban-fracking ideology. But Coloradans – and clearly the courts – aren’t buying it.

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