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COLORADO ATTORNEY GENERAL JOINS LAWSUIT TO PROTECT STATE AUTHORITY TO REGULATE HYDRAULIC FRACTURING

DENVER —Colorado Attorney General Cynthia H. Coffman, on behalf of the State of Colorado, joined a lawsuit this week challenging hydraulic fracturing regulations recently issued by the Federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Colorado joins Wyoming and North Dakota in the litigation. The lawsuit raises a straightforward legal question: whether BLM can impose its own regulations on hydraulic fracturing, even though federal law does not give it that power and instead allows states to regulate in this area.
 
The following statement is to be attributed to Colorado Attorney General Cynthia H. Coffman:
 
“Colorado has robust regulations on oil and gas development, including hydraulic fracturing, and our agency regulators are doing a good job implementing them. I believe it is important to test BLM’s novel assertion of regulatory authority in an area that has been traditionally—and in this case expressly—reserved for the states.
 
To be clear, this case is not about whether hydraulic fracturing should or should not be regulated. It should be regulated, and Colorado is doing so. However, the debate over hydraulic fracturing is complicated enough without the federal government encroaching on states’ rights. This lawsuit will demonstrate that BLM exceeds its powers when it invades the states’ regulatory authority in this area. It will also allow further dialogue on this important public policy issue as Colorado continues to refine its regulatory approach to the industry.”
 
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