Lawsuits expected after 3 cities vote to ban fracking

7:40 PM, Nov 6, 2013   |    comments
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KUSA - Boulder, Lafayette and Fort Collins voted for fracking bans and moratoriums Tuesday, and many expect legal battles to follow.

Last year, Longmont voted on a fracking ban and got sued by the state.

"I'll bet anyone who wants to bet, I'll take whatever figure you like, that we get sued," Fort Collins City Council Member Gerry Horak said.

He's not the only one who thinks a legal battle could loom after the Fort Collins fracking vote.

"The city will have to foot the bill, the taxpayers will, on funding for a legal defense. Is that where you want your money spent?" former Fort Collins Mayor Ray Martinez said.

Martinez lobbied on behalf of oil and gas interests in the lead-up to Tuesday's vote.

Part of a statement by Governor Hickenlooper reads as follows:

"These bans may or may not result in new legal challenges from mineral rights holders, individual companies or others. No matter what happens we won't stop working with local governments and supporting regulations that can be a national model for protecting public health and safety."

The Colorado Oil and Gas Association isn't ruling out legal action.

"While we ardently hoped that we would not have to consider going to court to allow an activity which supports these families, COGA will be evaluating all our legal options. The State Supreme Court has clearly stated oil and gas cannot be banned within a city or county," said Doug Flanders, with COGA, in an email to 9News Wednesday.

The Kaye Fissinger, Director of Our Longmont, released the following statement on Thursday:

"It's extremely concerning that both our state government and the oil and gas industry refuse to acknowledge that the Colorado Constitution guarantees Colorado citizens inalienable rights to health, safety and the protection of their property. Fracking and its consequences cannot be reconciled with these constitutional rights. The Governor and the industry continue to sue or threaten to sue not only to undermine those constitutional guarantees but the public vote and our democratic foundation. We would hope that, at the very least, our Governor would reexamine his priorities and reaffirm the oath that he took when he assumed office."

(KUSA-TV © 2013 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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