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October 6, 2014
Sent Via email to: OGTaskforce@state.co.us
Governor Hickenloopers Oil and Gas Task Force
Dear Oil and Gas Task Force Members:
On behalf of the cities of Longmont, Lafayette, Fort Collins, Broomfield and Boulder as well as Boulder
County, we write to encourage the Task Force to recommend legislation that clarifies the authority of
local governments to regulate oil and gas operations. Our residents, all near or in the Wattenberg Field,
expect us to exercise our authority to protect our communities from the risks associated with oil and
gas.
Local governments have traditionally had power to regulate all land use activity, especially heavy
industrial activity that has a significant impact on our residents and their quality of life. Even for
industries which must locate their facilities at a targeted resource, like gravel or hard rock mining, the
authority of local governments to regulate such activities is well accepted. While we respect and rely on
the states expertise, many of the impacts of oil and gas activities are inherently local, involving sitespecific considerations and the spatial relationship between oil and gas facilities and the other aspects
of our vibrant, multifaceted communities. So, while the state should establish minimum standards for
such oil and gas operations, local governments are equal partners in defining the rules for oil and gas in
each community.
Local governments authority should not be unchecked. The court system should carefully enforce the
takings clauses of the U.S. and Colorado constitutions: we must not take private property without just
compensation. As with any other type of local regulation affecting property use, we as local
governments must ensure that our oil and gas regulations are constitutionalbut that has never been,
and is not now, a reason to remove regulatory authority from the communities who actually have to
deal with the effects of heavy industry.
One tool afforded to our local governments to address these concerns is the ability to enter into
memoranda of understanding with individual operators. Many of us have had great success with this
tool, and often see it as the best way to address unique situations on a case-by-case basis. Nevertheless,
MOUs are just one piece of the puzzle. Without clear local regulations, operators would have no reason
to limit their own activities by entering into an MOU. And we cannot have clear regulations without
clear authority.
As you know, the state and the industry have called some aspects of our local authority into question by
bringing some of us to court. While the courts may sometimes be necessary to address local prohibitions
of hydraulic fracturing, we believe we should address other aspects of local regulation collaboratively if
possible. If that is the intent of the task force as well, then its work must include ensuring that local
governments have the regulatory tools to address the challenges we currently face at the local level.
Our elected officials and staff have had significant experience wrestling with these issues over recent
years. As the Task Force begins to assess the various existing problems in the relationship between local

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and state authority, and as its work becomes more specific, we encourage you to reach out to us for our
experience and input. We also invite you to hold an upcoming meeting in at least one of our cities.
Sincerely,
XXXXXXXX
[Mayors/Commissioners of Each Local Government]