Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper revealed that he lacks adequate number of votes to approve a law that will give the community more authority over oil and natural gas drilling, taking the matter to the November ballot that is widely expected to be the most expensive the state has ever witnessed.
Hickenlooper, who is a Democrat, was recently locked in negotiations with business groups, lawmakers and energy firms in order to reach a settlement that would be accepted by anti-fracking activists.
Hickenlooper intended to avoid the issue from heading to the ballot, where voters will change the Colorado constitution to block drilling within 2000 ft of a structure, something that would effectively put an end to hydraulic fracturing in the state, reported Bloomberg News.
“Over the past several months, we have worked with a bipartisan coalition to explore a legislative compromise that would avoid a series of expensive and divisive ballot initiatives surrounding oil and gas development in Colorado,” Hickenlooper said in a statement on Wednesday. “We have not been able to secure the broader stakeholder support necessary to pass bipartisan legislation in a special session.”
Fracking is a technique that involves injecting a mixture of sand, water and chemicals at high pressure to release oil and natural gas that is trapped in the underground shale formations. Communities have opposed the use of the technique, saying it risks polluting air and groundwater supplies. Already, five Colorado communities have passed moratoriums or bans on the practice.
Existing state regulations require drilling and exploration wells to be situated more than 500 feet from occupied structures. Lobby groups want that barrier increased.
Hickenlooper, who is seeking a re-election, has been persuading Coloradans to allow mineral rights owners to collect royalties by allowing drilling on their land, but ultimately, the November ballot will provide the platform for voters to air their opinion on the matter. To register for a free 2-week subscription to ForexMinute Premium Plan, visit www.forexminute.com/newsletter.
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