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Colorado A-G Threatens to Sue Boulder County Over Drilling Moratorium

ColoradoAG

Colorado and the county of Boulder could find itself in a court fight over a moratorium on oil and gas drilling.

State Attorney General Cynthia Coffman last week demanded that Boulder drop its moratorium but the county refused to meet the deadline of Friday. It opens the door for the Republican Attorney General to move to court. She contends the Boulder moratorium flies in the face of a Colorado Supreme Court ruling that only the state can regulate the oil and gas industry. She told Boulder County officials she would file suit if the county didn’t drop its moratorium.

County leaders contend their action is legal. County Attorney Ben Pearlman said it is legal because the purpose is to give the county time to revise its outdated land-use regulations for oil and gas.

The A-G says the county is wrong.

“Plain and simple, Boulder county is violating state law and has left my office with no option other than to enforce the law,” said Coffman in a written statement. “It would be patently unfair for some local governments to be forced to comply with state law while allowing Boulder to continue with its illegal moratorium.

The Boulder County moratorium has been in place since 2012.