News, November 14th

STATE COMMISSION CONSIDERS SETBACK RULES, GROUNDWATER TESTING

Undated–A standing-room-only crowd packed a hearing room in Denver today to lobby for tougher setback rules and groundwater testing for the oil and gas industry. The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission is considering how far drilling operations should be from homes, schools and other buildings in rural and urban areas. Environmental groups are calling for a 1,000 foot setback. Industry supporters are looking for a reasonable compromise. The C-O-G-C-C is also being asked to impose tougher regulations for groundwater testing around drilling sites to prevent contamination from the fracking process. The commission isn’t expected to make any decisions until next month.

COLORADO’S TAX SYSTEM NEEDS AN OVERHAUL

Denver–Colorado’s tax system needs a major overhaul. That’s the conclusion of Governor John Hickenlooper’s year-long, statewide, “T-B-D” study. TBD stands for “To Be Determined.” The task force, which held 60 meetings across Colorado, including Glenwood Springs, discovered that after 20 years, TABOR, the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights which limits government spending, collides with other constitutional mandates to increase spending on public education. The task force concluded that Colorado’s economic patch is unsustainable without changes to the constitution. Some Republican leaders say that’s political double-talk that means a tax increase is on the way. The task force recommendations are not binding.

INTERIOR SECRETARY SALAZAR APOLOGIZES FOR THREATENING REPORTER

COLORADO SPRINGS (AP) – Interior Secretary Ken Salazar is expressing regret after he threatened to punch out a reporter who asked about problems in the government’s wild horse program at a campaign event. His press office says Salazar regrets the exchange on Nov. 6 while on a Colorado tour in support of President Barack Obama’s re-election. A reporter for The Gazette of Colorado Springs, Dave Philipps, asked Salazar about the wild horse program and a horse slaughter proponent who has bought hundreds of the protected animals. Salazar answered but after the interview accused Philipps of setting him up and said he would “punch you out” if it happened again.

PETRAEUS’ MISTRESS HINTED AT AFFAIR IN ASPEN

ASPEN (AP) – David Petraeus’ biographer and girlfriend said at a conference in Aspen last summer that the general was a “very close mentor” and the two of them had a special relationship. Paula Broadwell also said in an interview at the Aspen Institute that Petraeus was “quite a physical specimen.” She also said her access to Petraeus and classified information created “a clear line” she couldn’t cross as a journalist.

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