The state-local struggle over regulation of oil and gas drilling shifted Thursday after Colorado lawmakers killed an effort to extinguish the ability of cities and counties to set their own rules.
Senators on the Local Government Committee voted 4-1 to reject Senate Bill 88, sponsored by Ted Harvey, R-Highlands Ranch, which would have pre-empted local power to use land-use and zoning regulations to control industrial development. The bill would have given the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission unfettered power to supervise the industry.
Energy companies are preparing to tap the vast Niobrara shale formation along Colorado’s heavily populated Front Range. Residents are anxious, attending forums, asking that drillers be required to keep greater distances from homes and schools, conduct baseline water and air tests, and adhere to environment-friendly practices.
(By Bruce Finley, The Denver Post)