Fracking task force nears possible compromise

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DENVER -- If a debate between one of the state's leading environmentalists and a powerful oil and gas industry consultant is any indicator, don't expect a major breakthrough compromise that will solve the state's ongoing local control impasse.

The task force created last summer by Gov. John Hickenlooper, hatched as a last-minute way out of a potentially messy battle over ballot measures last fall, is due to issue its recommendations on Tuesday.

Of the 40 or so policy recommendations being considered, more than half of them may garner more than the two-thirds support needed to be passed on to Hickenlooper.

The looming question: will any of them be significant enough to provide a meaningful solution to the battle between homeowners in some Front Range communities and the oil and gas industry over what measure of local control can be afforded to regulate drilling and mitigate its impacts without enabling cities and counties to veto development altogether?