Hickenlooper’s siting task force calls for more local consultation

Colorado Gov. John W. Hickenlooper’s (D) oil and gas siting taskforce called for more consultation and greater involvement with local communities on Feb. 24, but stopped short of giving them more power as it forwarded 9 of 36 proposals to him, The Denver Post reported.

Colorado Gov. John W. Hickenlooper’s (D) oil and gas siting taskforce called for more consultation and greater involvement with local communities on Feb. 24, but stopped short of giving them more power as it forwarded 9 of 36 proposals to him, The Denver Post reported.

Hickenlooper formed the taskforce late last summer to formulate recommendations to reduce land-use conflicts arising from oil and gas activity near homes, schools, businesses, and recreation areas (OGJ Online, Aug. 5, 2014).

Food & Water Watch and other organizations immediately announced formation of Coloradans Against Fracking in response to what they said was the taskforce’s failure to protect the state’s residents from an oil and gas process the groups consider dangerous. They called on Hickenlooper to follow New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s (D) example and ban hydraulic fracturing.

“The state is right back to where it started from because these extreme groups didn’t operate in good faith,” said another group, Protect Colorado, which supports responsible fracing. “Their only goal was—and still is—to ban [fracing] in Colorado, regardless of the devastating economic impacts and the threat to personal property rights.”

An American Petroleum Institute official, meanwhile, urged Colorado policymakers to carefully review the taskforce’s recommendations that he said were the result of a thoughtful dialogue about the state’s future as an energy leader.

“But there is more to do,” API Upstream Operations Director Erik Milito said. “State policymakers must avoid creating unnecessary or unintentional roadblocks to the responsible energy production that is driving Colorado’s economic growth.”

He said the US oil and gas industry has a long history of working collaboratively with state and local officials in Colorado to protect the environment and create jobs, and would continue to work with policymakers to ensure the state remains at the forefront of America’s energy renaissance.

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

More in Government