Supreme Court of Colorado Confirms that Local Governments Cannot Ban Hydraulic Fracturing

From May to August, I was preoccupied with bar examination (Pennsylvania) and wedding preparation. That’s no excuse, however, not to mention two of this year’s most important shale law decisions. In the twin decisions in City of Longmont v. Colorado Oil and Gas Assoc. and City of Fort Collins v. Colorado Oil and Gas Assoc., the Supreme Court of Colorado held that Colorado state law preempts local government regulation of hydraulic fracturing. In doing so, the Supreme Court of Colorado effectively confirmed what it had held 24 years earlier in the context of the City of Greeley’s city-limits drilling ban. See Voss v. Lundvall Bros., 830 P.2d 1061 (Colo. 1992). Continue reading

Ohio court confirms that anti-fracking ordinances are preempted

On March 3, the Court of Appeals of Ohio for the Eighth Appellate District confirmed what the Supreme Court of Ohio made clear more than a year ago: a local government cannot prohibit shale development authorized by permit issued by the State of Ohio. See State ex rel. Morrison v. Beck Energy Corp., No. 2015-Ohio-485 (Feb. 17, 2015).  Nonetheless, in Mothers Against Drilling in Our Neighborhood v. State (MADION), a community group challenged the voidance in a separate decision of the “community bill of rights” anti-fracking ordinance it had sponsored. Continue reading