Colorado Supreme Court to decide whether cities can ban fracking

Energy Associated Press

The Colorado Supreme Court has agreed to decide whether cities can ban hydraulic fracturing, stepping into a high-stakes battle over whether local governments can impose tougher oil and gas rules than the state.

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The state's highest court agreed Monday to hear cases from Longmont and Fort Collins. Longmont voters banned hydraulic fracturing in 2012. Fort Collins voters approved a five-year moratorium in 2013.

Lower courts overturned the restrictions after the Colorado Oil and Gas Association filed a lawsuit, saying regulation is up to the state.

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, injects a high-pressure mix underground to break open formations and make it easier to recover oil and gas. It's a widespread practice that led to an energy boom.

Opponents worry about health and environmental effects. The industry says it's safe.