Fracking battle goes before Colorado Supreme Court

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DENVER — The battle over fracking in the state will go before the Colorado Supreme Court on Wednesday when judges will hear oral arguments for cases in Longmont and Fort Collins.

The debate is whether the cities can ban fracking or if the decision is up to the state. Some communities say they don’t want fracking, but oil and gas companies say cities can’t make that decision.

The Colorado Supreme Court will hear from both sides. Longmont voters passes a ban in 2012 and Fort Collins put a five-year moratorium on the process.

But the oil and gas industry said the cities can’t do that and only the state can impose a ban.

The fight began over health and environmental concerns. Opponents said not enough is known and more studies are needed.

Some studies show a possible link to air pollutants that cause headaches, nosebleeds and severe asthma attacks.

But the oil and gas industry disputes that, saying fracking overall is safe and pointing to the economic benefit.

Fracking is a high-pressure mix of water and chemicals that are injected underground to break open formations and make it easier to recover oil and gas.

Each side will have 30 minutes to make their case to the Colorado Supreme Court. After that, the justices can take as long as they need to issue a ruling.

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