With energy boom on the way, Colorado needs to restore impact funds

Posted: Nov 20, 2011

Written by

Denver Post

As news circulates about vast oil and gas reserves across the Front Range, it's easy to envision the economic benefits of a drilling boom.

But we can't help but wonder whether impacted communities will get the full, promised government support to build roads, schools and other infrastructure made necessary by an energy boom. If recent history is any guide, the answer would be no.

Colorado has a robust program that dedicates a good portion of severance tax colletions to a grant program that helps communities address the impacts of energy development. However, it has been raided to varying degrees since 2008-09, its cash funds used to fill the shortfall in the state's general fund.

State legislators should restore the energy assistance grant program, at least in part, so local governments have the resources to support this welcome economic activity.

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