A home went up in flames in April on Twilight Avenue north of Denver, killing two people. Now, the investigation into what happened is underway, clean-up is ongoing, lawsuits are being filed and people who live in that small community are worried- not only about their safety but about the value of their homes. The explosion was caused by a small pipeline leaking gas into the home, owned by oil and gas giant Anadarko.
Colorado voters likely won’t be able to weigh in on the future of oil and gas development this November, but that doesn’t mean the issues themselves are dead. Environmentalists and industry are preparing for the fight to continue on the ground.
Severance taxes are what energy companies pay to the state for the oil, gas, coal, or other minerals they take out of the ground. Each year that adds up to a lot of cash. In Colorado, half of that money is supposed to go back to cities and counties impacted by energy development. Many people were not happy this year when when Colorado lawmakers voted to take $20 million away from the state’s severance tax fund for the 2015/2016 state budget.