Colorado Supreme Court rebuffs health groups on oil and gas

DENVER — The Colorado Supreme Court says state law doesn’t allow regulators to make public health and the environment their top priority when setting rules for oil and gas drilling.

The ruling released Monday said state law requires regulators to “foster” oil and gas production while protecting public health and the environment.

But the court says regulators must take into account whether those protections are cost-effective and technically feasible.

The ruling is a victory for the industry.

Community advocates and environmental groups wanted the court to rule that health and the environment should take precedence over oil and gas production. That could have brought tougher rules on where companies can drill.

The location of oil and gas wells is a contentious issue in Colorado, where oil fields and cities often overlap.

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