On Monday May 2, 2016, the Colorado Supreme Court ruled that state laws regulating the oil and gas industry trump local bans and moratoriums on fracking. Colorado has become a leader in oil and gas production with more than 50,000 actives wells and more than 45,000 inactive wells. The high court overturned Longmont’s 2012 ban on fracking and fracking waste disposal, as well as Fort Collins’ five –year moratorium on fracking on the grounds that these local measures “operationally conflict” and “materially impedes” state power.
By contrast, the law in Michigan preempts regulation by counties and townships on oil and gas operations only as it relates to the zoning of the location and related “location, drilling, completion, operation, or abandonment” of oil and gas wells. In other words, townships and counties do have some authority and ability to regulate related facilities, processes, and activities, such as natural gas pipelines, flow lines, gathering lines, treatment or production facilities, or compressors, pursuant to the Addison Township v. Gout case. Click here for more information about local authority to regulate ancillary activities of oil and gas in Michigan.