The Colorado Court of Appeals has asked the state’s high court to take jurisdiction over appeals of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) restrictions enacted by Longmont and Fort Collins, CO (see Shale Daily, Nov. 10, 2014).

Two years ago, the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) joined a lawsuit by the Colorado Oil & Gas Association (COGA) against Longmont’s fracking ban (see Shale Daily, July 17, 2013). Despite court rulings against local bans, Longmont and Fort Collins have continued to appeal (see Shale Daily, Oct. 1, 2014).

“The Court of Appeals referred the decisions directly to the Supreme Court without ruling, citing the public significance of these cases and that they raise a number of important legal issues, which will likely require determination” by the Supreme Court, said COGA President Dan Haley.

“Moving the case to the Supreme Court in no way alters the fact that, to date, every Colorado court has declared bans and moratoria on fracking as illegal. Three district courts in Colorado have already ruled that bans implemented in Longmont and Lafayette and Fort Collin’s moratorium are preempted and rendered illegal.”

Haley said the appeals court’s decision doesn’t “legitimize” pursuing illegal local bans. “We look forward to when these cases are closed, and we can get back to how local control was meant to be.” The industry group expects the high court to support the state’s preemption.