Second of two parts – By Mark Jaffe
The Denver Post – Posted: 10/30/2011 01:00:00 AM MDT
One evening in January, El Paso County Commissioner Amy Lathen met with about 16 people in a constituent’s living room to talk about the wave of oil and gas leasing that was sweeping the area.
“It was a new issue,” Lathen said. “I explained the county didn’t have any regulations on oil and gas drilling.”
In August, Lathen was part of a town-hall meeting on oil and gas leasing, and this time nearly 400 people packed a meeting room.
The arc between those two meetings in El Paso County — which is now drafting oil and gas regulations — reflects what is happening up and down the Front Range.
County meetings and town halls have drawn hundreds of residents, citizen groups have formed, and Elbert,Arapahoe and Douglas counties, like El Paso, are preparing to adopt oil and gas development rules.
“We are fast-tracking rules,” said Arapahoe County Commissioner Fred Weddig. “We felt like we are playing catch-up.”
The trend, however, has provoked concern from state regulators and the industry.