News that the state of Colorado intends to sue the city of Longmont over its new oil and gas regulations came as no surprise to any of the seven City Council members.
According to the Longmont Times-Call, City attorney Eugene Mei was notified by the assistant attorney general, Jake Matter, on Monday that a lawsuit will be filed challenging the city’s new regulations. Most of the council members say they found out about the suit Monday night.
Mei said he expected the lawsuit to be filed July 30, the day the new regulations become effective. The council approved them July 17.
Matter declined to speak with the Times-Call on Wednesday, deferring questions to the Colorado Department of Natural Resources, which oversees the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission which regulates the industry in the state.
“This is a necessary step to get guidance from the courts,” Mike King, executive director of the Department of Natural Resources, wrote in a statement to the Times-Call on Wednesday.
“We’ve collaborated successfully with communities for decades on oil and gas development, and parties have traditionally been able to work through issues without drawing hard lines. In the case of Longmont, the community has taken a position we think jeopardizes efficient and orderly development of a resource all citizens depend on. Citizens in Longmont and across the state deserve a clearer sense of authority on this matter, and so we think it’s time to turn to the courts for direction and resolution.”