Colorado attorney general sues county on drilling moratorium

DENVER — Colorado’s attorney general is asking a court to overturn Boulder County’s moratorium on oil and gas drilling, saying it violates state law and a state Supreme Court ruling.

Attorney General Cynthia Coffman filed a lawsuit Tuesday. County officials had no immediate comment.

The county said last week it was prepared to defend the moratorium in court. County Attorney Ben Pearlman said it was legal and was imposed to give the county time to update its land use regulations for oil and gas drilling.

Coffman noted Boulder County has had a moratorium in place since 2012 and has extended it several times. The current expiration date is May 1.

The state Supreme Court last year overturned drilling restrictions imposed by Longmont and Fort Collins, saying local governments cannot regulate the industry.