Colorado’s own aerial firefighting fleet will soon be much bigger. Following Governor Hickenlooper’s May 12 signature on the bill authorizing a state-owned fleet, Colorado’s Division of Fire Prevention and Control has been busy contracting helicopters, single engine air tankers and early detection remote sensing aircraft.
There’s often a divide between Colorado’s rural lawmakers and those representing larger communities along the urban Front Range. That dynamic was apparent during the 2014 legislative session with Republicans routinely blaming Democrats for waging what they said is a "war on rural Colorado."
In 2012, the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, which is responsible for keeping track of and inspecting the tens of thousands of oil wells in the state, had just 17 inspectors to examine over 47,000 active wells.
Now, the state has added 11 more inspectors, upping their capacity to where in 2013 they were able to inspect about half of the 53,000 active wells across the state.
Governor John Hickenlooper’s office said he’s still in discussions about whether to call lawmakers back to the state capitol for a special session on oil and gas issues. The goal would be to pass a compromise bill and avoid a fight at the ballot box.
Governor Hickenlooper's office has announced a compromise bill has been reached to head off a local control fight over fracking at the ballot. No special session as been called for it yet and there remain doubts it will come to fruition. The New York Times looks at the debate fracking has taken on in the state.
An impassioned national debate over the oil-production technique known as fracking is edging toward the ballot box in Colorado, opening an election-year rift between moderate, energy-friendly Democrats and environmentalists who want to rein in drilling or give local communities the power to outlaw it altogether.