Colorado governor strikes deal on fracking

August 5, 2014 by Ivan Moreno
Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper speaks during a news conference about fracking at the Capitol in Denver, Monday, Aug. 4, 2014. During the news conference Hickenlooper announced the creation of a task force charged with crafting recommendations to help minimize land use conflicts that can occur when siting oil and gas facilities near homes, schools, businesses and recreational areas. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

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 to deal with concerns about . 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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