Jump to Navigation
Jump to Content

City of Longmont v. Colorado Oil & Gas Ass'n,

ELR Citation: 46 ELR 20089
Nos. No. 15SC667, (Colo., 05/02/2016)

The Supreme Court of Colorado held that state law preempts a city's ban on hydraulic fracturing and waste disposal within city limits. The Colorado Constitution recognizes the sovereignty of "home rule cities," meaning that in matters of local concern, a home-rule ordinance supersedes a conflicting state statute. But in matters of statewide concern, the local ordinance can only coexist with state statutes if they do not conflict. Here, the regulation of hydraulic fracturing is a matter of statewide concern. The need for uniform statewide regulation and the extraterritorial impact of a fracking ban favor the state's interest. Here, the ban materially impedes the application of the state's Oil and Gas Conservation Act and the regulations promulgated thereunder. As such, state law preempts the ban. In addition, the inalienable rights provision of the Colorado Constitution does not save the ban from preemption by state law. The court, therefore, affirmed a lower court decision enjoining the city from enforcing the ban.