Fracking debate highlights local control concerns
DENVER — The debate over regulation of oil and gas drilling is highlighting concerns over local control.
According to the Denver Post, state officials insist they alone have the right to regulate how and where the industry does its drilling. State officials are fighting local governments that try to impose their own rules and Gov. John Hickenlooper has threatened to file a lawsuit against cities that defy state rule.
The Colorado Constitution gives residents of home-rule cities, where voters have approved special charters, the right to govern themselves in local matters.
Courts have decided, however, that state Oil and Gas Conservation Commission rules pre-empt local rules when a state interest is at stake in drilling disputes.