Colorado's Democratic governor forged a deal to stop dueling proposals on oil and gas drilling and avoid a messy ballot fight that had his party concerned about political consequences in November.
Democratic U.S. Rep. Jared Polis joined Gov. John Hickenlooper on Monday to detail an agreement that called for a task force to deal with concerns about energy development. In exchange, groups agreed to drop four initiatives that support or oppose fracking.
Polis has financially backed two of the measures that sought limits on drilling, including increasing the distance between homes and rigs. The governor said drilling restrictions would seriously hurt Colorado's economy.
As a compromise, Hickenlooper said an 18-member task force would issue recommendations to Legislature next year on how to minimize conflicts between residents and the energy industry.
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