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Colorado fracking debate heats up

Dec 09, 2013 | 02:06 PM |

Tags  Colorado Oil and Gas Association, fracking, oil, gas, Jared Polis, Tisha Schuller, COGA, lawsuit Thorsten Schier

NEW YORK — The head of the Colorado Oil and Gas Association (COGA) has challenged Rep. Jared Polis (D., Colo.) to a debate in light of the latter’s recent criticism of lawsuits filed by the association against fracking moratoriums in Fort Collins and Lafayette, Colo.

"It’s no secret that my fellow Boulderite ... has long-held concerns about oil and gas development, and his latest decision to weigh on our recent legal action highlights his anxieties," COGA president and chief executive officer Tisha Schuller said in a statement.

The lawsuits follow a vote in which constituents in the Colorado towns of Fort Collins, Boulder, Lafayette and Broomfield decided to extend a fracking ban.

"It is regrettable and unfortunate that COGA had to take this action. There are over 100,000 families that rely on the oil and gas industry for their livelihoods and these bans effectively stop oil and gas development," Schuller said at the time.

"(COGA) needs to focus on winning over hearts and minds, not suing us when they disagree with the legitimate outcome of elections," Polis responded.

The U.S. fracking boom has spurred a flurry of new oil country tubular goods (OCTG) capacity, as companies are expecting increased consumption of the products.

One analyst said the impact of the bans on production could be limited, but the outcome of the lawsuits could have a symbolic impact.

"Most of the counties that (the bans are) in are not big oil- and gas-producing counties. What (the COGA) is worried about is a more widespread adoption of an anti-fracking stance. There might be a fear that others will start to do the same," he said.

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