From the Denver Post

Fresh from passing a series of tough oil and gas regulations this past summer, Thornton was sued by two industry groups this week on the grounds that the city’s new rules illegally conflict with state laws regarding energy extraction.

The Colorado Oil and Gas Association, in partnership with the American Petroleum Institute, filed the challenge in Adams County District Court on Tuesday.

The suit comes six weeks after Thornton City Council approved a set of rules that exceed what the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission requires of oil and gas firms, including the establishment of a 750-foot buffer between wells and homes and tougher-than-state-limits on abandoned flowlines.

Dan Haley, president and CEO of the state oil and gas association, said in a statement that his organization “submitted multiple letters” to the city “articulating serious legal concerns with Thornton’s proposed regulations, particularly regarding operational preemption.”

“Those concerns were ignored, making it necessary to challenge Thornton’s regulations in court,” Haley said.

A spokesman for Thornton said the city has not yet been served with the complaint and had no comment Wednesday.

The legal challenge from the industry was expected and mirrors action it has taken against attempts to ban drilling in various communities in Denver’s northern suburbs over the last few years.

Just a month before Thornton passed its regulations, the COGCC warned the city in a letter that many of its proposed rules illegally pre-empt state law.

Thornton oil and gas regulations linked here.


Legal Notice