By Allison Sherry – The Denver Post – February 12, 2013
WASHINGTON — States — not the federal government — should lead in regulating natural gas production, Gov. John Hickenlooper told a Senate committee Tuesday, angering environmentalists and drawing applause from energy groups who are fighting the Environmental Protection Agency.
Hickenlooper, a Democrat, told the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resourcesthat Colorado is a “national model” in how it regulates natural gas extraction.
He said he swigged fracking fluid once, noting to the senators that it wasn’t “tasty” but, “I’m still alive.”
“I come back to the notion of appropriate regulation,” Hickenlooper said. “States are the laboratory of democracy and we are focusing on how we create a rigorous set of regulations.”
Hickenlooper, often at odds with environmentalists on energy production, was an invited guest of Sen. Mark Udall, a Democrat and member of the committee.
Colorado state officials are suing one of its own cities, Longmont, becausethe city passed extra rules around drilling regulations that Hickenlooper’s administration say are too stringent.