Colorado gov. proposes new fracking study

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 25, 2013 at 7:21 pm •  Published: January 25, 2013

DENVER (AP) — Colorado should use unanticipated tax money to study the effects of oil and gas drilling on air quality, as well as devote more money to public schools and wildfire prevention, Gov. John Hickenlooper told lawmakers Friday.

The governor's late-afternoon request outlined his vision for spending about $50 million in additional tax collections that his office didn't anticipate when it made its formal request to legislative budget-writers in November.

Hickenlooper's $50 million request includes about $1 million to study the drilling practice known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. The Democratic governor insists the procedure is safe, but skeptics remain.

Hickenlooper told lawmakers Friday that they should spend about $1 million for the state health department to study the impacts of oil and gas extraction on environmental air quality. Hickenlooper also proposed $1.3 million for additional fracking study along the northern Front Range with Colorado State University.

The governor's requests also included about $13 million more for K-12 schools, and about $10 million for improved wildfire prevention.

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