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The Latest: Colorado Supreme Court hears oil and gas lawsuit

October 16, 2018

DENVER (AP) — The Latest on a lawsuit over public health protections in Colorado oil and gas drilling (all times local):

3:55 p.m.

The Colorado Supreme Court is considering how much weight the state should give health and the environment when regulating the oil and gas industry.

The court heard oral arguments Tuesday in a lawsuit filed by six young people who want the state to require energy companies to show they won’t harm public health before they’re allowed to drill.

Regulators said they don’t have that authority. They say state law requires them to balance health and environmental protections against the benefits of responsible oil and gas production.

An attorney for the state said Tuesday the regulators had acted properly.

A lawyer for the plaintiffs argued that the law says drilling shouldn’t harm public health and doesn’t require regulators to balance that protection against the benefits of energy production.

The justices didn’t indicate when they would rule.

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10:45 a.m.

The Colorado Supreme Court is hearing arguments in a high-stakes lawsuit over how much weight the state should give public health and the environment when regulating the oil and gas industry.

The court scheduled a hearing Tuesday in a lawsuit filed by six young people. They want the state to require that energy companies show they won’t harm people or the environment before drilling.

Regulators says they don’t have that authority. They say state law requires them to balance those protections against responsible oil and gas production.

A ruling in favor of the young plaintiffs could significantly change Colorado’s battle over the proliferation of hydraulic fracturing wells near urban areas. Activists and local governments would gain new power to argue for safety measures, including restrictions on where wells can be drilled.

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