Colorado oil, gas debate flares up again before task force can finish its recommendations

EnergyAssociated Press

A task force designed to help Colorado settle disputes over oil and gas drilling is finishing up its recommendations, but those disputes are roaring back to life.

The panel has been wrestling with how much power local governments should have to regulate drilling, how to protect the rights of surface owners when someone else owns the minerals underground, and what health and safety restrictions should be imposed.

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It's set to take final votes Tuesday and submit its recommendations to Gov. John Hickenlooper on Friday.

But some activists are already renewing a campaign to ban hydraulic fracturing. And the Republican-controlled state Senate passed a bill last week to penalize cities that try to restrict fracking.