Judge denies stay in Fort Collins fracking lawsuit

Thursday, November 13, 2014

The Coloradoan

November 10, 2014

By Erin Udell

The city of Fort Collins was dealt another blow — and the oil and gas industry another win — last week when a Larimer County judge denied the city's request to stay his decision overturning the city's 5-year fracking ban.

The motion to delay the decision was filed after Fort Collins City Council voted Sept. 23 to appeal 8th Judicial District Judge Gregory Lammons' August ruling to overturn the city's citizen-initiated and voter-supported fracking moratorium, saying it violated an act passed in 1951 that declares oil and gas activity a state priority in Colorado.

The stay, if granted, would have delayed the judge's ruling from going into effect until the city's appeal was heard.

The citizen-initiated ordinance, which voters passed in November 2013, was overturned after the Colorado Oil and Gas Association (COGA) filed a lawsuit in Larimer County District Court. The moratorium would have stopped new wells from being fracked within city limits for five years, while the city performed a study on the health impacts of fracking.

Calling it a, "legal win," the Colorado Oil & Gas Association said Lammons' ruling overturning the city's fracking ban specifically did not stay his order pending appeal, "meaning that the order was to remain in place through whatever appeals may be filed."

Three municipal fracking restrictions — including Fort Collins' — have been overturned by Colorado courts in the past four months, according to COGA. A judge upheld COGA's request to dismiss a fracking ban in Longmont in July and, in August, that same judge ruled Lafayette's fracking ban violated state law.

Read the full article here: http://www.coloradoan.com/story/news/local/2014/11/10/judge-denies-stay-citys-legal-fracking-battle/18805611/