Judge Overturns 5 Year Fracking Ban in Fort Collins

This post was written by Stefanie Spear, and originally appeared on EcoWatch.

A judge overturned Fort Collins’ five-year moratorium on hydraulic fracturing Thursday, making it the third big blow to efforts by grassroots groups and politicians working to ban fracking in communities throughout the state.


District Judge Gregory M. Lammons ruled on the lawsuit filed in late 2013 by the Colorado Oil and Gas Association challenging the bans passed by voters in Fort Collins and Longmont stating that the Fort Collins moratorium is preempted by the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Act because it “impedes a state interest and prohibits what the state law allows.”

“The City’s five-year ban effectively eliminates the possibility of oil and gas development within the City,” Lammons writes. “This is so because hydraulic fracturing is used in ‘virtually all oil and gas wells’ in Colorado. To eliminate a technology that is used in virtually all oil and gas wells would substantially impede the state’s interest in oil and gas production.”

The moratorium in Fort Collins stopped new wells from being fracked within city limits, while the city performed a study on the health impacts of fracking. City officials now have seven weeks to decide if it plans to appeal the court’s decision.

“We are disappointed at the outcome,” Interim City Attorney Carrie Daggett told the Coloradoan. The city is reviewing the judge’s order and will be considering its options, Daggett said.

“The decision of overturning the protective moratorium in Fort Collins against the inherent human and environmental dangers of fracking is yet another display of puppetry enforced by the regulatory scheme,” said Shane Davis, aka The Fractivist.

On Monday, Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) pulled two ballot measures from the November ballot that sought to provide far greater local control of Colorado’s fracking industry. The initiatives would have forced fracking wells to be 2,000 feet from schools, hospitals and other community facilities, and established an environmental bill of rights allowing local governments precedence when laws conflict with the state.

Late July, Boulder County District Court Judge D.D. Mallard ruled against Longmont’s fracking ban in favor of “state’s interest,” clearly stating that concerns about health risks to residents don’t quite stack up against Colorado’s stake in the oil and gas industries. Voters approved the ban in 2012, but the Colorado Oil and Gas Association never stopped fighting to overturn it.

Photo Credit: Thinkstock


Warren Webber
Warren Webber3 years ago

Live long and prosper!

Panchali Yapa
Panchali Yapa3 years ago

Thank you

Rosemary Diehl
Rosemary Diehl3 years ago

Colorado seems to get so much right that I guess they are allowed a stumble every once and again. Seems this judge needs a Supreme Court nomination...he would certainly fit in

Sarah Hill
Sarah Hill3 years ago

Good for the judge!

We need to STOP using plastic to package everything! Food tastes much better when packaged in glass. The food absorbs some taste from the plastic.

Bryan Bates
Bryan Bates3 years ago

I can understand that those big companies need to make money. I have something to show you,if I can reverse the usage of oil and gas that we use everyday. This means one tablespoon of oil or gas can power your vehicle for the life time. All I am saying is why do we need all this drilling and fracking when we don't need it at all. I can power any vehicle with one tank of gas for a life time that means you will get fuel for about .12 cents a liter. Thanks to anti-fission brot by me. Let's end fracking for all time!

Freya H.
Freya H3 years ago

People of Colorado, RISE UP, vote Hickenlooper out of office first chance you get; and in the meantime, demand the removal of that ass kisser Lammons. That tool of the 1% needs to be sent packing ASAP. And don't let the screen door hit ya where I hope the dog bit ya!

William Browatzke

It's interesting , that instead of asking the judge to secure a procedure to have a few choices of frac with inert gases or materials everyone is just going for a ban. If you would work to guide the oil & gas community to develop a better conscious about the Frac costs to environment it would help them to see that working with those who are educated would cost less . In Canada we use Nitrogen, Natural gas that is stripped of sour components , river water, Mud and around another 50 alternatives. The American people need to get informed about the types out there an get those accepted as the industry standard , as a means to the end of the frac process. It was developed in the Canadian oil & gas industry so look there. Its only by working with the companies and governments to understand there are other options can we change things. Working with people always works best courts have no desire to help . Man made laws can never change things on people change ! Sending much love to you all ,

Brad Hunter
Brad H3 years ago


Sandra D.
Sandra D3 years ago

Just more proof that big business - not the people - are the ones running the governments and the law courts of the world today! What would they do if we just stopped consuming? Never happen because their marketing has brainwashed us all to consume but it is a pleasant thought to the wide spread panic that would ensue!

Marcia Vinson
Marcia Vinson3 years ago

This is disgusting and to see that this took such little time, it has really been apparent that our justice system is just as corrupt as our political system. To know the science data behind fracking all across this country and the fact that the chemical makeup is still not available due to laws protecting the corporations from having to disclose ... this country is no longer a democracy. Hasn't been one for a very long time.