Eagle Forum Legislative Alerts

Friday, July 29, 2016

Pro-Energy Ruling By Colorado Court

Cheaper energy benefits all. Lower energy bills for the elderly give them more disposable income to spend on medical care. Young people benefit from less expensive energy as they struggle to pay off their student loans. Schools and hospitals do better with less costly energy bills. In underdeveloped nations, inexpensive energy can mean the difference as to whether homes have heat and running water. Hydraulic fracturing, known as “fracking”, is a modern technique for extracting oil and gas from existing wells. Sand is pushed into wells under high pressure, which makes it easier to get oil, gas, and other hydrocarbons that were previously inaccessible. Environmentalists have banned this in some states and towns, while other areas welcome the economic benefits and jobs that result.

In Colorado, there is a state law that allows this technique for extracting energy. But some cities in that State have banned fracking and the storage or disposal of its waste products. Two of those cities were Fort Collins and Longmont. Energy producers sued these cities based on the state law permitting fracking, and these cases went all the way to the Colorado Supreme Court. In remarkably unanimous decisions, the Court held in favor of energy production and struck down city ordinances that ban fracking.

The Colorado law allowing fracking preempts local environmentalist laws that tried to ban it. The district judges had issued orders blocking the cities from enforcing their ordinances against hydraulic fracturing, and the Colorado Supreme Court upheld those rulings. The Colorado Supreme Court rejected the path taken by the Pennsylvania High Court, which struck down a Pennsylvania statewide law that allowed this energy production. Pennsylvania’s ruling was based on an unusual environmentalist provision in the Pennsylvania Constitution, which does not exist in Colorado. This is a victory for less expensive energy, which benefits everyone.

Listen to the radio commentary here:

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