The Bureau of Land Management is consulting with the Navajo Nation before deciding whether or not to sell drilling rights.
The move effectively ends surface drilling in the city as Top Operating and Cub Creek Energy abandon several active wells and future drilling sites.
Energy producers are responding to prices.
Interior had previously announced it was delaying the Obama-era rule until January 2019, arguing that it was overly burdensome to industry.
Even with advances and efficiencies, not every energy company can make it work in Western Colorado — the costs are just too high.
Depending on whom you talk to, the Broomfield plan was seen as a gold standard or a misguided plan in need to revisions.
Colorado's top regulator says as long as the rules are followed, “there’s very little risk, very little potential harm of having empty, abandoned, plugged, capped lines in the subsurface.”
“Regrettably, Boulder County’s open defiance of State law has made legal action the final recourse available to the State,” the office of the Attorney General said in a statement.
In 2012, 7.65 percent of proposed facilities had eight or more wells. In 2016, the share jumped to 43 percent.
Opponents of oil and gas development in the White River National Forest are getting another shot at trying to block drilling there.