Colorado fracking initiatives pulled

Grassroots work to continue, advocacy group says.
By Daniel J. Graeber Follow @dan_graeber Contact the Author   |   Aug. 6, 2014 at 9:13 AM
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DENVER, Aug. 6 (UPI) -- An advocacy group in Colorado said it withdrew initiatives aimed at regulating oil and gas work in response to compromise measures from the state's governor.

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper said Monday he made a deal with the environmental advocacy community and those in the energy industry that would ward off initiatives that would have curtailed oil and gas drilling in the state.

Instead, the governor said he created a task force that would oversee the issue in a way that would benefit residents and the state's economy.

Coloradans for Safe and Clean Energy, in coordination with Reps. Frank McNulty and Jerry Sonnenberg, both state Republicans, said Wednesday it withdrew so-called Initiative 88, which would require drilling rigs to be located 2,000 feet from homes, and Initiative 89, creating and environmental bill of rights, for ballot consideration.

"Going forward the grassroots movement that has driven this campaign will remain engaged in next steps and will monitor the formation of the new blue-ribbon commission and those appointed to it," Mara Sheldon, a spokeswoman for the advocacy group, said in a statement Wednesday.

Oil from Colorado accounts for one out of every 50 barrels produced in the United States and output is on the rise because of operations in the state's Niobrara shale basin. The state is home to nine of the largest 100 natural gas fields in the country.

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