Court Upholds Broomfield, Colorado’s Ban on Hydraulic Fracturing

After a re-count of the votes cast on November 5, 2013, in Broomfield, Colorado, Local Question 300 banning hydraulic fracturing within the city for five years was passed by 20 votes.

The Broomfield Balanced Energy Coalition and others challenged the legality of the local moratorium by questioning the validity of the election results. 

The groups pointed to a recent “bad election bill” concerning state residency requirements for voters in coordinated elections, a “deceptively written” Local Question 300, and “incompetent” election officials in Broomfield who admitted to mistakes including the discovery of a ballot box four months after the election.

In a detailed Order dated February 27, 2014, the Judge for the District Court for the City and County of Broomfield reviewed the groups’ allegations and ruled to uphold the election results, stating that the city “substantially complied with the election laws of the State of Colorado and that the election should not be set aside.” 

The lawsuit is Thomas E. Cave and Broomfield Balanced Energy Coalition v. The City and County of Broomfield, Colorado, et al., Case No. 13CV30313, In the District Court, City and County of Broomfield, State of Colorado.

A number of lawsuits have been filed challenging local bans or moratoria on hydraulic fracturing. 

For information on these lawsuits, please read the Norton Rose Fulbright white paper entitled “Analysis of Litigation Involving Shale & Hydraulic Fracturing”.

This post was written by Barclay Nicholson ( or 713.651.3662) from Norton Rose Fulbright's Energy Practice Group.