The Colorado Oil and Gas Association agreed yesterday to drop its legal challenge to drilling rules adopted by the state two years ago. The rules were promulgated in response to public concern over the dangers posed by the unprecedented natural gas drilling boom.
I’ll toot our horn a bit. Our Oil & Gas Accountability Project, headed up by Gwen Lachelt, was one of the first public interest organizations in the state to sound the alarm about the risks of toxics used in drilling. And that alarm was one of the key reasons that the rules — that are now safe from lawsuit — were put in place.
I should point out that it is only through the lawyering of Paul Zogg (during the rulemaking) and Earthjustice (during the industry lawsuit that followed the rule) that we got to this point. As Gwen said upon hearing the news:
“This is a big victory for common sense. [Through the rulemaking process] Coloradans demanded responsible drilling that respects our right to clean water and protects our state’s special places. [And] the state listened to the people, not the industry’s overblown claims that the rules would drive drilling out of Colorado.”
And now, by dropping its lawsuit, the industry has given up its attempt to overturn the will of the people of Colorado.