The Durango Herald’s Joe Hanel reports:
The task force that Gov. John Hickenlooper set up to halt a looming war between local governments and the energy industry came back Wednesday with a plan to keep things mostly as they are.
Several Front Range local governments are considering moratoriums and regulations in the face of a drilling and hydraulic fracturing boom. Earlier this year, Democrats and Republicans in the Legislature blocked each other’s bills to either increase or remove the authority of local governments to oversee drilling.
Hickenlooper’s task force – which included people from the energy industry, environmental groups and local governments – reached much the same conclusion. The group decided that “drawing bright lines between state and local jurisdictional authority was neither realistic nor productive.”
…Speaker of the House Frank McNulty, R-Highlands Ranch, had pushed to rein in local governments, some of which he says are chasing away jobs and investment. [Pols emphasis]
“The task force ignored about 98 percent of what the governor asked them to do. What they did recommend I think is helpful but does little to address the overall situation we have in Colorado,” McNulty said.
“Local control” is a time-honored Republican chestnut used to justify opposing most anything they don’t like–why should the big faceless remote state government be allowed to impose their will on local communities who know best? You’ve heard this argument in a variety of places and settings.
But apparently, not when it comes to oil and gas drilling.