Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman said on Friday that the state has joined Wyoming and North Dakota in a lawsuit that challenges hydraulic-fracturing regulations issued by the Federal Bureau of Land Management. | Colorado Attorney General

Colorado has joined a lawsuit challenging the Federal Bureau of Land Management's new regulations on hydraulic fracturing, Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman said on Friday. 

 Colorado joins Wyoming and North Dakota in the legal action. The lawsuit asks the court to decide whether the Bureau of Land Management can legally impose its own regulations on hydraulic fracturing. The suit contends that the bureau doesn't have that power because federal law delegates that responsibility to states to regulate such matters. 

“Colorado has robust regulations on oil and gas development, including hydraulic fracturing, and our agency regulators are doing a good job implementing them,” Coffman said. “I believe it is important to test BLM’s novel assertion of regulatory authority in an area that has been traditionally — and in this case expressly — reserved for the states.”

Coffman said the lawsuit isn't about whether there should be regulations over hydraulic fracturing. She said the process should be regulated, but that the states should be the ones overseeing it -- not the bureau. 

“The debate over hydraulic fracturing is complicated enough without the federal government encroaching on states’ rights,” Coffman said. “This lawsuit will demonstrate that BLM exceeds its powers when it invades the states’ regulatory authority in this area. It will also allow further dialogue on this important public policy issue as Colorado continues to refine its regulatory approach to the industry.”

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