Gas and Oil Compromise Appears Unlikely

As has been widely reported, Gov. Hickenlooper is trying to avert the onslaught of gas and oil initiatives being supported by Rep. Jared Polis and anti-fracking activists by trying to craft a compromise, which would then be considered by the legislature in a special session. Rep. Polis has agreed to pull the 9 initiatives he has filed if the legislature approves more restrictive rules. However, last Friday he stated that the compromise bill as currently drafted doesn’t go far enough. He supports additional language suggested by the Sierra Club that would elevate health, welfare and safety, including as it pertains to the environment and wildlife — above the extraction of oil and gas minerals — in deciding whether a local government’s regulations “destroys” an energy company’s ability to produce the resources.

Coloradoans for Responsible Reform (CFRR) is one of several business-related groups campaigning against additional gas and oil restrictions. While CFRR argues avoiding a November ballot fight is in the best interest of Colorado, the organization says that fear of losing in November should not be the primary motivator for a special session. CFRR states that its research shows that an overwhelming majority of Coloradans oppose a ban on oil and gas.

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