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Ballot initiatives calling for county and municipal authority over oil and gas development are popping up in Colorado like spring flowers. Disputes and lawsuits over Front Range fracking bans have triggered the push for more local control. Despite new state oil and gas regulations, local officials from both sides of the Continental Divide want more say in how energy extraction plays out in their communities. KDNK's Amy Hadden Marsh has more.
Energy companies reported some 90 spills of hydrocarbons and oil and gas byproducts in Garfield County last year. Many of those spills took place on private property, where residents leased their land to drilling companies. But a KDNK news investigation reveals some of those residents were unaware that spills had taken place on their property—and that state regulators aren't checking to make sure landowners are properly informed of spills. KDNK's Ed Williams reports.
A coalition of groups recently submitted a ballot initiative for state review that would amend the state constitution and give more control over oil and gas extraction to municipal and county governments. Proponents say state regulations aren't strict enough and that local governments should have more of a say in how and where energy extraction takes place.
While Roaring Fork Valley officials agree with the importance of local input on energy exploration, they say the proposed ballot language is too vague. KDNK's Amy Hadden Marsh spoke to Roaring Fork Valley officials to get their responses to the initiative.
Voters in November may get to decide whether local governments within Colorado could place their own restrictions on oil and gas extraction, including whether to frack or not to frack. KDNK's Amy Hadden Marsh has more about a ballot initiative sponsored by Local Control Colorado.
Carbondale trustees and staff are working on a plan to increase the town's solar energy, with the help of power purchasing program from Xcel Energy. They're looking at three locations around town to offset energy usage and have chosen Carbondale solar energy company SunSense to help them make it a reality.
KDNK's Eric Skalac spoke to Katharine Rushton of SunSense to find out about why the town is building more solar, and how they selected the potential locations.
Garfield County commissioners are upset about a federal plan to protect the greater sage grouse, and earlier this week, they met with the Bureau of Land Management to share their thoughts.
For this week's news brief, KDNK's Eric Skalac spoke to reporter Amy Hadden Marsh about Garfield County's own plan to protect the bird.
Last week the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission held hearings to consider expanding the required distance between gas wells and homes and buildings. As KDNK's Ed Williams reports, the decisions to come out of the meetings left people disappointed on both sides of the issue.
This week the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission met to create new rules on groundwater protection and setback distances for fracking operations in the state. KDNK's Ed Williams talked to Conservation Colorado Executive Director Pete Maysmith about the COGCC's new groundwater regulations.
Texas-based SG Interests recently filed an application to drill a gas lease in the Thompson Divide area. The Bureau of Land Management, or BLM, and the US Forest Service are reviewing the application, and once they deem it complete, the two agencies will initiate an environmental assessment process.
KDNK's Eric Skalac spoke to the BLM spokesman David Boyd to find out what that process would entail.
A controversial resolution about public lands allocated for oil shale exploration in Garfield County was at the heart of yesterday's Garfield County commissioners meeting. KDNK's Amy Hadden Marsh was there and has this report.