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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.
In the late 1960s and early '70s, four nuclear devices were exploded underground on Colorado's Western Slope in an effort to free up commercially marketable amounts of natural gas from dense sandstone formations.
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.