By Mark Jaffe and Aldo Svaldi – The Denver Post – May 1, 2014
The battle over what power local governments should have over oil and gas drilling swept through the statehouse Wednesday and out into a statewide campaign to defeat local-control ballot measures.
At the statehouse, negotiations on a bill to give communities a measure of control over oil and gas operations have reached a fever pitch as the end of the legislative session looms.
“We are trying to find a compromise between the oil and gas industry and local governments,” Gov. John Hickenlooper said in an interview.
Meanwhile, the industry and its allies are gearing up for a battle to defeat up to a dozen November ballot initiatives that would give towns and counties more power over oil and gas drilling.
The fight over local control in Colorado, simmering for more than two years, is poised to break into, in the words of one statehouse lobbyist, a “statewide food fight.”
While Front Range communities — Boulder, Broomfield, Fort Collins, Lafayette, Longmont and Boulder County — have passed drilling bans or moratoriums, the game is now being played from the Eastern Plains to the Western Slope.