In our prior coverage of Longmont, Colorado’s citywide ban on hydraulic fracturing and waste disposal, which was enacted by local referendum last month, we noted that the state had threatened to sue Longmont for the second time this year if the ballot measure passed. In response to hydraulic fracturing regulations the city adopted in July, the state sued Longmont under the theory that the regulations improperly intruded on state oil and gas regulation. The city attempted to get the suit dismissed, but on November 27 a judge in Boulder County ruled that the case could proceed.
But as the Denver Post reported late last week, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper announced at an oil & gas conference in Denver that the state would not sue Longmont directly over the ban. In his remarks, the governor noted a concern that the state might not have standing to sue Longmont directly over the ban. Instead, if a company directly affected by the ban sued Longmont, Hickenlooper indicated that his administration would “stand ready to support an energy company that does file a lawsuit in response to the ban” — presumably in an amicus curiae capacity.