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Longmont residents this November will vote on whether or not to ban within city limits the oil and gas drilling technique known as fracking.
Stumping in Colorado before the GOP caucuses earlier this month, Republican presidential candidates Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich zeroed in on energy policy, arguing that the Obama administration is pushing an environmentally radical anti-business agenda that is bad for the economy and for national security. The speeches went over well with conservative primary voters, but mainstream reporters and analysts have a whole different take on the energy-industry "problem" facing the United States in the Obama era, one that has to do with historically booming production levels.
Conservationists are pointing to oily muck likely oozing from a Suncor Energy oil refinery in Commerce City toward the South Platte River as an example of what can go very wrong in the looming oil and gas boom along Colorado’s Front Range.
Revelations Monday that Houston-based Anadarko may be sitting on up to a billion barrels of oil along Colorado’s Front Range immediately raised concerns about the environmental impacts of hydraulic fracturing in an area of increased residential growth in recent years.
Counties across Colorado are gearing up for the next major oil and gas boom, scrambling to draft local regulations for everything from visual impacts to physical setbacks of drilling equipment. But state officials are increasingly flexing their regulatory muscles, and industry representatives fear more local regs will slow the next boom before it’s in full swing.
One of the themes that emerged from last week’s Republican presidential debate in Nevada – the foreclosure capital of the United States – is that GOP candidates largely don’t think the federal government should do much to fix the ongoing housing crisis.
On-shore oil drilling in the United States is at its highest level since the Reagan administration in 1987, according to the Baker Hughes Rig Count – an industry tracking service. That same national boom is also occurring in Colorado, according to state officials, who point to a flurry of new drilling permits and active wells in Weld County.