May 10, 2013 4:30 PM by Tony Spehar

Drilling critics mull next steps after defeats

DENVER (AP) - Oil and gas drilling critics in Colorado are looking for new strategies after they mostly failed to see state lawmakers increase oversight on one of the state's most powerful industries.

Drilling critics saw one failure after another in the legislative session that ended this week. Despite the support of some of the Legislature's most powerful members, crackdown measures mostly failed amid heated opposition from the industry and from Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper.

Lawmakers rejected a bill to increase inspections at oil and gas wells. They failed to agree to minimum fines for operator spills. A proposal to reduce the energy industry's influence on the commission that regulates drilling failed, too.

Industry groups pointed out that some oversight bills advanced. And they predicted upcoming regulatory changes could address concerns.


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