Governor John Hickenlooper’s oil and gas task force will deliver its final recommendations Friday. The group is proposing nine changes to try and mitigate the impacts of energy development near communities. The task force also wants local governments to be more involved in developing large drill sites, but stopped short of allowing cities and counties to adopt stricter rules than the state standards. Bente Birkeland sat down with the Governor to discuss his thoughts on the group’s work and some of the backlash from members of his own party.
Highlights from the interview:
Reaction to several Democrats at the state capitol calling the task force a fail. One Lawmaker graded it an F +.
Governor John Hickenlooper: “That’s absurd. You know they had pre-decided what they wanted the outcome to be. We assembled civic leaders, Republicans, Democrats, even numbers of everybody…We tasked them, should local communities have veto control? That’s taking someone’s property. Somebody paid money for those leases thirty years ago before homes ever got close.”
On Future Anti-Fracking Statewide Ballot Initiatives
Governor John Hickenlooper: “I think if something does go to the ballot box it will have a much harder time passing, just because so much of what people cared about is being addressed and will be addressed.”
On whether the issue of local control over oil and gas drilling is still in limbo
Governor John Hickenlooper: “I think the civic leadership of this state said that’s not the right solution. To say they didn’t resolve it is inaccurate. They did resolve it.”