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Impact fees assessed against equipment used by oil and gas companies in Rio Blanco County – most notably ExxonMobil – took a big hit...
Analysts are calling ExxonMobil’s $31 billion acquisition of natural-gas giant XTO Energy a much safer bet than a similar leap made by energy conglomerate...
Oil and gas companies fought the fees at every turn, in part leery of the precedent it might set not only for other gas-rich counties in Colorado, but also around the nation. The possibility of impact fees quickly became a campaign issue in neighboring Garfield County during the 2008 county commissioner election.
Even as domestic drilling for natural gas has dropped off dramatically due to the recession, more and more states and local governments are looking to up taxes on the industry in order to bolster desperately depleted budgets.
Two Democrats who lost out in a nasty election for the Garfield County board of commissioners last year say the main reason they were targeted by the oil and gas industry was something that happened earlier in 2008 in neighboring Rio Blanco County.