Facing a rash of local initiatives to control oil and gas drilling, Gov. John Hickenlooper Monday created a task force to "clarify" the roles of state an local governments in regulating drilling.
"This is an important step to better define state and local jurisdiction regulatory structures as Colorado's oil and gas industry continues to grow," Hickenlooper said.
Spurred by the discovery of oil in the Niobrara formation, which stretches from El Paso County to the Wyoming border, companies have been buying up mineral leases and ramping up drilling.
In 2011, Weld County had the most drilling activity in the West, according to a study by Headwaters Economics, a Montana-based natural resource consultant.
That lead 10 Front Range municipalities and counties to develop drilling rules, raising concerns among drillers that projects could be stalled.
"This is makes attracting investment a real challenge," said Tisha Schuller, president of the Colorado Oil and Gas Association, a trade group, which will have a spot on the task force.
The task force also will include a representative the Colorado Petroleum Association, two members of the state oil and gas conservation commission and one environmental group representative.
"The composition of the task force seems weighted in favor of industry," Kate Zimmerman, the National Wildlife Federation's senior policy adviser, said in a statement.
Continue reading... Who's on the task force?
Let the people vote.