City of Fort Collins v. Colorado Oil

369 P.3d 586 (2016)

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City of Fort Collins v. Colorado Oil

Colorado Supreme Court
369 P.3d 586 (2016)

Facts

Colorado’s interest in oil and gas development was expressed in the Oil and Gas Conservation Act (OGCA), and the rules and regulations were promulgated thereunder by the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (the commission), the state agency that administered the OGCA’s provisions. According to the OGCA, the commission was empowered to make and enforce rules, regulations, and orders, and to regulate oil or gas production operations. The commission had promulgated rules and regulations that comprehensively regulated the fracking process. In 2013, the citizens of the City of Fort Collins (the city) voted in favor of an ordinance that placed a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing and the storage of its waste products in the city for five years (the moratorium). The city subsequently amended its municipal code to prohibit hydraulic fracturing and storage of associated materials within the city. The Colorado Oil and Gas Associations (the association) (plaintiff) sued the city and requested a declaratory judgment declaring that the OGCA preempts the fracking moratorium and a permanent injunction enjoining the enforcement of the moratorium. The district court concluded that the OGCA impliedly preempted the city’s authority to regulate fracking and therefore preempted the moratorium.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Gabriel, J.)

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