Republicans love fracking in Colorado — and it could help them flip a critical Senate seat this fall.
The onslaught against Democratic Sen. Mark Udall (Colo.) reached a fever pitch this week when Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) had to cancel a special legislative session meant to keep two hydraulic fracturing initiatives backed by Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) off the November ballot.
Udall, who had stayed out of the fray on the two measures, was forced to take a side much to the GOP's glee.
Now, with Colorado as one of the top natural gas producing states in the nation, the fracking controversy could be the issue that gives Rep. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) the boost he needs in the tight-knit race of high importance in the battle for Senate control. ￼
Udall came out against the two measures along with Hickenlooper, also up for reelection, essentially creating a rift within the state’s Democratic party.
The Polis-backed measures would set tighter restrictions on hydraulic fracturing operations for oil and natural gas in the state. One would extend the setback for hydraulic fracturing wells to 2,000 feet from schools, hospitals, and the like. The other would establish an "environmental bill of rights" giving local governments precedence when its laws conflict with the state's.