Judge Strikes Down Longmont’s Fracking Ban

July 24, 2014 9:07 PM

Judge Strikes Down Longmont’s Fracking Ban
" LONGMONT, Colo. (AP) — A state district judge struck down Longmont’s voter-approved ban on hydraulic fracturing Thursday but stayed her decision while the city considers an appeal.

Judge D.D. Mallard ruled the ban conflicts with state regulations and Colorado’s interest in efficiently developing oil and gas deposits.

“While the Court appreciates the Longmont citizens’ sincerely-held beliefs about risks to their health and safety, the Court does not find this is sufficient to completely devalue the State’s interest,” Mallard wrote.

Longmont voters passed an amendment to the city charter in November 2012 that banned hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, which involves blasting underground rock formations with water, sand and chemicals so oil and natural gas can escape. The Colorado Oil and Gas Association, along with the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, sued to overturn the ban.

Mallard noted that the state’s interest in developing oil and gas, and Longmont’s interest in banning drilling create an “irreconcilable conflict” in which state rules take precedence "

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