As Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper weighs whether to call a special legislative session to deal with oil and gas issues, the issue of property rights is on his mind.
The governor has equated some of the recently passed bans and moratoriums on hydraulic fracturing to "…snatching the property of a citizen. Just taking it without due compensation."
While in some cases the courts could interpret fracking bans as taking away private property, getting to the point where a ban is ruled a taking of private property would be time consuming and costly, experts say.
Loveland voters will soon become the sixth Front Range community to weigh restrictions on hydraulic fracturing. The June 24, 2014 special election asks voters to decide whether to impose a two-year moratorium on fracking, the process of pumping sand, water and chemicals that are proprietary to oil companies into the ground to extract resources.
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.
Colorado is quickly becoming ground zero for a political war over the future of hydraulic fracturing. Political spending both for and against potential anti-fracking ballot measures is already washing over the state.
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.