Archives: Colorado

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The Continued Attempt to End Shale Development in Colorado – This Time Through the Voter Initiative

An attempt to put restrictions on shale development, so as to effectively end it, is nothing new in Colorado. Just this year, several Democrats attempted to push a bill through the Colorado House of Representatives that would have given local governments specific authority to regulate the siting of oil and gas facilities. The Colorado House … Continue Reading

Moratorium on New Oil and Gas Operations Lifted in Adams County

On Tuesday, Adams County, Colorado, commissioners lifted a six-week moratorium on new oil and gas drilling operations in urban areas. The moratorium, previously approved by the county commissioners in early February following contentious public debate about a proposed 10-month moratorium, applied to new permits for wells or well pads within 1,500 feet of homes, schools … Continue Reading

Colorado Supreme Court Rejects Orders Requiring Plaintiffs to Present Early Evidence Supporting Their Toxic Tort Claims

In an April 20, 2015, decision that was highly anticipated by the energy industry, the Colorado Supreme Court rejected a procedural device called a “Lone Pine” order that requires plaintiffs to make a threshold evidentiary showing early in the case. The name Lone Pine order comes from the 1986 New Jersey state court case that … Continue Reading

The Federal Government Continues to Prosecute Royalty Underpayment Claims Under the False Claims Act

Earlier this month, John Walsh, U.S. Attorney for the District of Colorado, announced that upwards of $66,000 had been recovered from Slawson Exploration Company (Slawson) in a settlement for alleged violations under the False Claims Act (FCA).[i] Slawson is a privately owned oil and gas exploration company based in Kansas. The claims against it stemmed … Continue Reading

Colorado Court Ruling Confirms Role of Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission in Resolving Royalty Disputes

It is not uncommon for royalty disputes between mineral lessors and operators to increase as oil and natural gas prices decrease. Before mineral lessors go running to the courthouse in Colorado, however, and before operators respond to a lawsuit, both sides should consider the appropriate forum for the dispute. In a recent ruling dismissing a … Continue Reading

Is a Statewide Ban in Colorado in Play for 2016?

While Colorado cities continue to litigate their authority to ban fracing, a new environmental group is rallying to ban the practice throughout the entire state. At a gathering on February 24, the “Coloradans Against Fracking” announced that “[w]e need to have a ban in this state.” The group’s spokesperson, Karen Dike, first announced that the … Continue Reading

Colorado Oil & Gas Association Seeks Overturn of Broomfield Hydraulic Fracturing Ban

On Monday, November 24, the Colorado Oil & Gas Association (COGA) filed a lawsuit in the Broomfield District Court for declaratory judgment to invalidate that city’s temporary ban on hydraulic fracturing. The ban, known as Question 300, passed in November 2013 by 20 votes, places a five-year moratorium on hydraulic fracturing and prohibits storage in open … Continue Reading

The Myth of the Regulatory Gap: BLM’s Proposed Hydraulic Fracturing Rule Compared to Existing State Law

For the better part of the last decade, oil and natural gas production from domestic wells has increased steadily. Technical advancements in identifying promising sources of oil and gas and extracting hydrocarbons from previously inaccessible formations has allowed domestic producers to reach production levels once thought impossible. Virtually all of this increased production has come … Continue Reading

High Stakes Out on the Range: Gunnison Sage-Grouse Listed as an Endangered Species

In the first salvo of a larger environmental-industry showdown impacting Western shale development, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced Wednesday (Nov. 12, 2014) that the Gunnison sage-grouse would be granted endangered-species protection as a “threatened” class. The decision had been delayed for six months while state and local officials in Colorado and Utah undertook extensive … Continue Reading

City of Fort Collins, Colorado, Appeals Ruling Striking Down Fracking Bans

The week of September 22, the Fort Collins, Colorado, City Council voted to appeal a decision rendered last month that struck down the city’s fracking ban.  The North America Shale Blog previously covered that decision here. In that August 2014 decision, a Larimer County District Court Judge ruled that Colorado’s 1951 Oil and Gas Conservation … Continue Reading

Colorado State Court Strikes Down a Second City-Wide Fracking Ban

A Colorado state judge recently struck down a city’s voter-approved moratorium on hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking.” This marks the second time a Colorado judge has quashed a city’s fracking ban within a matter of two weeks. As we previously reported, three Colorado cities approved bans on fracking in late 2013. In Fort Collins and Boulder, … Continue Reading

Denver Shale Symposium Attracts Large Attendance from Major Oil and Gas Companies

Addressing recent developments affecting the oil and gas industry in the Rockies, theShale Symposium in Denver drew close to 300 industry professionals, making it one of the highest attended of the six symposiums hosted by the firm’s Energy and Shale team since the spring of 2013. The symposiums have attracted speakers and attendees from major players … Continue Reading

Efforts to Avoid Ballot Measures on Fracking Fail in Colorado

Faced with the potential for two anti-fracking measures on the Colorado ballot this November, Colorado governor John Hickenlooper and state lawmakers have been working for weeks to develop a legislative compromise to avoid putting the issues to a popular vote.  Hickenlooper’s proposal would have placed some additional restrictions on fracking, but would have clarified that … Continue Reading

Loveland Voters Reject Two-Year Ban On Fracking

Loveland voters defeated an anti-fracking initiative that would have imposed a two-year moratorium on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, within the city’s borders. Loveland is located about an hour north of Denver. The proposed ban on fracking failed by about 1,000 votes—with a tally of 9,942 votes in favor of the moratorium, and 10,844 against the … Continue Reading

Oil and Gas Companies Ask Colorado Supreme Court to Approve Trial Court Order Requiring Plaintiffs to Present Preliminary Evidence of Their Claims Before Engaging in Full Discovery

On June 18th, Antero Resources Corp., Antero Resources Piceance Corp, Calfrac Well Services Corp, and Frontier Drilling LLC filed their Opening Brief before the Colorado Supreme Court in a “toxic tort” case concerning fracking operations in Silt, Colorado. The plaintiffs in the case, landowners in Silt, claim that the defendant companies’ operations caused contamination of … Continue Reading

Colorado House Advances Bill Requiring Study of Fracking Impact Along Colorado Front Range

The Colorado House of Representatives passed a bill yesterday that would require a study of the health impact of fracking in Colorado.  The bill, House Bill 1297, passed with all Democratic Representatives, and one Republican Representative from Grand Junction, Colorado, in favor. If signed into law, the bill would direct the Colorado Department of Public … Continue Reading

Colorado Supreme Court Grants Petition to Consider Use of Lone Pine Orders in Toxic Tort Case Involving Hydraulic Fracturing

On Monday, the Colorado Supreme Court granted a Petition for Writ of Certiorari in Antero Resources, et al. v. Strudley, et al.  The Strudley case involves claims relating to alleged injuries from natural gas drilling operations near the Strudley’s home in Silt, Colorado.  The Strudley’s case was dismissed by the district court after it entered … Continue Reading

Study: Statewide Ban on Hydraulic Fracturing Would Cost Colorado Billions

A statewide ban on hydraulic fracturing in Colorado would cost the state $12 billion in lost gross domestic product (GDP) and result in 93,000 fewer jobs—both over 2% declines—according to a study released on Wednesday by the University of Colorado’s Leeds School of Business. According to Tom Clark, CEO of the Metro Denver Economic Development … Continue Reading

Broomfield Fracking Ban Upheld

On February 27, 2014, Colorado District Court Judge Chris Melonakis ruled that Broomfield’s five-year fracking ban would remain in effect.  The ban passed by a mere twenty votes.   The results of the November 2014 election were challenged by Broomfield Balanced Energy Coalition.  The Coalition argued that the election was flawed because mistakes were made in … Continue Reading

Colorado Group Submits Another Anti-Fracking Statewide Ballot Petition For Consideration

Colorado voters may have yet another anti-fracking statewide ballot initiative to consider this November.  The proposed constitutional amendment that was submitted to the Colorado Legislative Council on February 21 would insert language into Colorado’s Constitution that would allow local governments in Colorado to place restrictions on the time, place and method of oil and gas … Continue Reading

Colorado Activist Group Opposed to Hydraulic Fracturing Proposes Ballot Initiative To Give Municipalities Broad Regulatory Authority At Expense of State Power

Co-Author:  Paul Enockson Last week, the Colorado Community Rights Network, an activist group that opposes hydraulic fracturing, filed a proposed ballot initiative to amend the Colorado Constitution to give municipalities extraordinarily broad authority to regulate for-profit businesses operating within their jurisdiction.  The proposal grew out of anti-fracking activists’ frustration with current state law, which prohibits … Continue Reading

Colorado Oil and Gas Association Files Suit Against Fracking Bans

On December 3, 2013, the Colorado Oil and Gas Association (“COGA”) filed suits challenging citizen-passed initiatives that ban oil and gas activities in the cities of Fort Collins and Lafayette.  The ordinance passed by the citizens of Fort Collins placed a ban on hydraulic fracturing and the storage of any associated waste in the City … Continue Reading
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