The Colorado Oil and Gas Association and the American Petroleum Institute are joining Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman's lawsuit seeking to end Boulder County's moratorium on oil and gas development.
Boulder District Judge Norma Sierra on Friday granted the two industry trade organizations' joint Thursday motion to intervene in the attorney general's Feb. 14 lawsuit challenging the legality of the county's moratorium and asking the court to order that it no longer be enforced.
Boulder County, which has argued that its current moratorium is legal and was needed to be able to complete updates to the county's oil and gas regulations, did not object to the intervention. The county has until March 7 to file a formal response to Coffman's lawsuit.
Boulder County's current moratorium on accepting and processing new applications for oil and gas development within unincorporated parts of the county — the latest in a series of consecutive moratoriums the county has had in place since February 2012 — is set to expire May 1.
The Colorado Oil and Gas Association and the American Petroleum Institute said in a separate complaint filed last week that they have "members who own mineral leasehold interests within Boulder County. These members seek to be engaged in the exploration, production, and development of oil and natural gas in Boulder County.
"These members have been prevented from developing their mineral leasehold interests in Boulder County by the continuous moratorium," the complaint said.
Boulder County commissioners issued a Monday evening statement about the industry organizations' intervention, saying: "It is not surprising that the oil and gas industry has involved itself with this lawsuit.
"It is further evidence that the state is pursuing the interests of the oil and gas industry over the interests of Colorado citizens who will be adversely affected by the mega-drilling facilities that are being proposed throughout the state," the commissioners said.
John Fryar: 303-684-5211, email@example.com or twitter.com/jfryartc
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