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Mark Barron Comments on Bill that Would Let Local Governments Regulate Energy Operations

News / March 29, 2019

Mark Barron is quoted in an article published in the March 25, 2019 edition of Law Week Colorado. The article, “Six Words Worth a Universe of Questions,” discusses a phrase added in the text of an amendment to a Colorado bill that would allow local governments to regulate oil and gas operations. The phrase – “to the extent necessary and reasonable” – has added uncertainty to the potential effect of the bill, which has passed the Colorado Senate but has not come to a vote in the Colorado House.

Barron told the publication that “arbitrary and capricious” is the general test used to evaluate government agency actions but “Now there’s a new standard and [courts] will have to determine not whether it’s arbitrary, but whether [a regulation is] necessary and reasonable to protect public health, the environment and wildlife resources.” He also noted that while courts typically review “arbitrary and capricious” as a single term, “necessary and reasonable” may well be considered as separate conditions.

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