The Governor’s oil and gas task force wraps up its work this week. Bente Birkeland takes a look at how state lawmakers are preparing for the report, and examines some of the other big issues coming up at the state legislature as part of our weekly capitol conversation.
Birkeland talked to Kristen Wyatt with the Associated Press and John Frank with the Denver Post about what they’ll be covering and some issues that do and don’t fall along party lines. A debate on drones does not fall along party lines and will get a hearing in the Senate Tuesday.
Kristen Wyatt: Associated Press- “This is a ban on drone usage by police. The FAA just set a new policy for commercial use of drones. This is about how cops can use them. Can they use them for surveillance? Do they need a warrant? Cops say we need them to do things like fire prevention and finding victims of car accidents, so this could potentially really thorny for lawmakers to come up with a nice way to do this.”
The Governor’s oil and gas task force, which was charged with trying to harmonize local oil and gas regulations with statewide interests also wraps up. Many lawmakers have been holding off on introducing oil and gas legislation until the commission finishes its work.
John Frank: Denver Post: “Fracking is the elephant in the room this session. It’s the bill no one is talking about but it’s on everyone’s mind. And it’s because of this wait and see approach to Hickenlooper’s oil and gas task force. But the big question is when they finish their report this week, is will it be enough to keep issues off the ballot in 2016 and satisfy both sides, whether it’s the folks who want fewer restrictions on fracking or the people who want more restrictions at the local level.”