On May 19, 2022, a Colorado federal district court judge, the Honorable Marcia S. Krieger, issued an opinion and order remanding action, preventing—for now, at least—an expansive fracking plan in Western Colorado from going forward even though it had previously been approved by the United States Bureau of Land Management, United States Department of the Interior, and United States Forest Service (collectively, Agencies) during the Trump administration. Specifically, the court vacated the Agencies’ approval of the North Fork Mancos Master Development Plan (Plan) for hydraulic …Continue Reading
Companies Face State Court Claims for Climate Damage After Circuit Courts Hold That Such Claims Are Not “Inherently Federal”
Federal appeals courts in Maryland and Colorado have sent lawsuits seeking to hold energy companies responsible for climate change back to state court even after the U.S. Supreme Court directed the Fourth Circuit to take a second look in the Maryland case.
In Maryland, the City of Baltimore seeks millions of dollars in damages for, among other things, energy companies’ alleged violations of the Maryland Consumer Protection Act that affected climate change. In Colorado, the City of Boulder and a couple of Colorado counties also …Continue Reading
Outside of Colorado, the Navigable Waters Protection Rule Takes Effect
As previously discussed in the Environmental Law Monitor, the Trump Administration has taken action throughout 2020 to narrow the scope of which wetlands and waterways are protected under the Clean Water Act (CWA). The recently limited rule took effect on June 22, 2020, which in essence, opens the doors for developers anxious to get to work ahead of future legal action and the 2020 presidential election.
The EPA first unveiled its planned Navigable Waters Protection Rule in January 2020. The regulation, also known as …Continue Reading
You’ve Got a Friend in Me — U.S. EPA Finds Ally in Colorado Automobile Dealers Association
As the United States Environmental Protection Agency continues its battle with the state of California over fuel efficiency requirements for new vehicles, a new area of conflict has opened: the state of Colorado.
California is the only state that has a waiver under the federal Clean Air Act to impose its own vehicle fuel standards. States without waivers can approve a separate standard as long as it’s identical to California’s. In June 2018, Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper issued an executive order mandating the state adopt …Continue Reading
Climate Change Lawsuits Heat Up – The City of Boulder, Boulder County, and San Miguel County Join the Mix
On April 17, 2018, the City of Boulder, Boulder County, and San Miguel County, all in Colorado, collectively became the latest government entities to file suit against some of the world’s largest oil and gas companies, seeking compensation for the costs of adapting to climate change in their communities.
Non-coastal suits arrive:
The Colorado suit, similar to all the previously filed government suits, alleges that the defendants’ greenhouse gas products are directly responsible for current and future physical impacts in their communities, and seeks …Continue Reading
Wild West: Colorado Court Allows Warrantless Searches of Oilfield Sites
A rancher in southwestern Colorado had three oil wells on his property, leased to an oil company, Maralex Resources, Inc., of which the rancher was the president. One afternoon, an inspection supervisor with the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) contacted a local Maralex office and requested access to the wells for a routine inspection. Because the rancher was out of town, and the properties were protected by locked gates, the Maralex office refused to permit access that day. The inspection supervisor agreed to …Continue Reading