Commerce City delays decision on moratorium for hydraulic fracturing for one more month

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From 9News.com (Jeffrey Wolf):

…the council decided to push off a decision on a moratorium for another month to discuss the issue further. Another vote on whether to move ahead with the six-month moratorium will happen on Feb. 27. The state received an application by Texas-based Hilcorp to begin fracking at a well near Tower Road and 96th Avenue. It would be the first well in Commerce City if it goes through…

The state’s rules regarding oil and gas development trump local control, but Hilcorp would still need to get a conditional-use permit from the county…

If Hilcorp does not get a conditional use permit from the county, yet meets all the requirements to get one, the attorney representing Hilcorp says the company might take legal action.

From The Denver Post (Monte Whaley):

The city also set up a committee to specifically examine fracking and its implications.

Several residents argued that the city needed the six-month suspension of fracking to further study the implications of oil and gas drilling.

However, [Councilman Jim Bensen] warned that an oil company could ignore the moratorium and start fracking activity within the city because state law supercedes any local restrictions. That could land the city in court, fighting an expensive legal battle with the oil company and the state, he said.

More oil and gas coverage here and here.

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