Hick: Chances of special session on oil, gas compromise less than 50%

Colorado State Capitol

Colorado State Capitol

By Aldo Svaldi – The Denver Post – June 27, 2014

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper on Friday pegged the chances of a special session to pass a compromise bill providing local governments more control over oil and gas drilling at less than half.

And those odds weren’t helped after a group of 19 oil and gas producers, including some of the country’s largest, sent the governor a letter Friday stating they wouldn’t support compromise legislation.

“Fundamentally, there is no reason to support legislation that would push towards more regulations on the oil and gas industry,” the group wrote.

They noted local governments already have a way to address their specific concerns through the Colorado Oil and Gas Commission, which oversees some of the strictest industry regulations in the country.

Among the 18 companies opposed are Bill Barrett Corp., BP America, Chevron USA, ConocoPhillips, Encana Oil & Gas, Shell Oil and Whiting Petroleum.

The governor, who towards the end of the legislative session in May thought a compromise bill might have a 50-50 chance of passing, sounded a more dejected tone Friday afternoon, after several weeks of trying to forge a compromise and rally support.

The governor had won backing from a block of producers accounting for about 36 percent of the state’s natural gas output, including Anadarko Petroleum, Noble Energy, WPX Energy, PDC Energy, K.P. Kauffman and Great Western Oil & Gas.

He also had the support of U.S. Rep. Jared Polis, D-Boulder, who is backing many of the measures that seek to give local governments and their residents a greater say on oil and gas activity.

Continue reading story at The Denver Post

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