Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper reached a last-minute agreement with US Democratic Rep. Jared Polis to drop a number of anti-fracking proposals that would have proved costly to the party in the November ballot.
Mr. Polis agreed to drop two ballot proposals that would have limited fracking, though he had used millions of dollars of his own funds in the campaign. Instead, he will back a new plan fronted by Gov. John Hickenlooper to form a commission that will advise the state legislature on how best to deal with locals’ complaints about fracking and oil and natural gas extraction.
Anti-fracking groups linked to Mr. Polis have been behind various proposals that seek to limit drilling activities, such as requiring the distance between rigs and homes increased from 500 feet to 2,000 feet. The campaign has been opposed by Gov. Hickenlooper and energy firms, saying that the restrictions may negatively affect Colorado’s economy.
It was widely feared that Polis’s participation in the campaigns would impact the Democrats negatively in the November ballot by boosting funding for Republicans who usually back the oil and gas industry.
Gov. Hickenlooper is presently seeking a re-election while the incumbent US Democratic Sen. Mark Udall is locked in a tight race against US Republican Rep. Cory Gardner in a race that will influence control of the Senate.
In exchange for dropping the proposals, Hickenlooper announced that an 18-member task force will be formed to advise the Legislature in 2015 how to reduce the tension between the energy industry and the residents, reported the Wall Street Journal. The decision to form the task force was backed by the Colorado Oil and Gas Association and the American Petroleum Institute, who had previously opposed attempts to reach a deal on the matter. To register for a free 2-week subscription to ForexMinute Premium Plan, visit www.forexminute.com/newsletter.
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