New oil and gas discoveries in Colorado, which have led to some of the most intense drilling activity in the West, have prompted Gov. John Hickenlooper to create a task force to determine how best to regulate the industry, according to the Denver Post
Hickenlooper, a Democrat, wants to avoid what the Post described Thursday as “a rash of local initiatives to control oil and gas drilling,” by clarifying state and local government roles.
“This is an important step to better define state and local jurisdiction regulatory structures as Colorado’s oil and gas industry continues to grow,” Hickenlooper said.
The Post noted the discovery of oil in the Niobrara formation, which stretches from El Paso County in east central Colorado to the Wyoming border, has led to a rush by various companies to buy up mineral leases and increase drilling.
The drilling was already so intense in the Front Range area of the state, that last year one county alone accounted for most of the activity in the western United States, the newspaper said.
As a result, at least 10 different municipalities and counties have developed their own drilling rules, which some companies have complained could stall projects.
“This makes attracting investment a real challenge,” Tisha Schuller, president of the Colorado Oil and Gas Association, told the Post.
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