Comment: Expand the oil drilling setbacks
A few days back, an oil well blew out near Douglas, Wyo., causing 50 residents of the rolling prairie to evacuate their homes amid concern that a spewing cloud of natural gas could explode.
Witnesses told a TV station they could hear the roaring gas from six miles away.
Which, I think we can all agree, is a lot farther than 350 feet, the current setback required under Colorado law between oil operations and civilization.
Now, thankfully, this sort of thing is rare. But no matter how much you might love the smell of methane in the morning, would the idea of putting a little more distance between rigs and, say, elementary schools really be such a job-killer?
Somehow, I doubt it.
The oil money, naturally, doesn't like the idea of anyone befouling its interests, which helps explain the bill that was introduced in the Colorado House last month.
If passed, the bill could bar communities from sharing in state severance tax revenues if they enact oil drilling restrictions any tougher than the state's. In other words, we'll punish any mayors and city councils that fail to toe the line.
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Groans, too, no doubt, from oil and gas interests and others.
The number of people living