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COGA Agrees to Dismissal of Longmont Regulatory Lawsuit

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

October 14, 2014 - Denver – The Colorado Oil & Gas Association (COGA) is announcing that it is voluntarily withdrawing its claims in the lawsuit filed against the City of Longmont (City) challenging the validity of certain aspects of the City’s oil and gas regulations.  While COGA maintains that certain aspects of the regulations are preempted by state law and are, therefore, unlawful and invalid, an agreement has been reached between the City, COGA, the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC), and other intervenors to dismiss the lawsuit without prejudice.

On July 30, 2012 the COGCC filed the suit seeking to invalidate certain portions of new oil and gas regulations passed by the Longmont City Council on July 17, 2012 (Ordinance O-2012-25). The Court permitted COGA to intervene in the litigation.

“COGA has consistently treated legal action to resolve differences over oil and gas development as a last resort,” COGA President and CEO Tisha Schuller said.  “COGA has agreed to the dismissal of its claims in the Longmont regulatory lawsuit because the single operator there has an agreement in place with the City and because the courts are making it clear that local regulations do not preempt state law.”

Following a separate citizen ballot initiative banning hydraulic fracturing that passed in Longmont in November 2012, COGA initiated legal action seeking to invalidate the ban. The COGCC later was joined as a necessary party to the lawsuit. Longmont’s ban was recently held invalid by the District Court Judge because they were preempted by state law.

Two other District Courts hearing cases regarding Fort Collins and Lafayette have also invalidated a locally imposed five-year moratorium and an outright ban on oil and gas development and operations in those respective communities.  To date, the District Court Judges in three cases have agreed with COGA’s position that bans and moratoria imposed on hydraulic fracturing operations are improper and illegal.

“I am proud of our track record negotiating over 30 local agreements across the state under a balanced system of state and local regulations that really works.  With the local fracking bans dismissed by the courts and the 2014 election ballot issues withdrawn, we have a renewed opportunity to continue working with individual communities on creating practices and standards that are tailored to local needs,” concluded Schuller.

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Doug Flanders

Dominic Delpapa

Signed Dismissal Without Prejudice - Longmont I

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