Noting that hydraulic fracturing (fracking) has revolutionized U.S. energy production, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper Thursday boasted that his state’s rules for regulating the use of fracking are the “strongest and fairest” in the nation. Hickenlooper made the remarks as part of his state of the state address in Denver.

Hickenlooper said that when Colorado was able to get the conservation group Environmental Defense Fund and energy services giant Halliburton Co. to both support the state’s new fracking rules, “other states took notice” almost immediately. “It is another reason why we believe so passionately in the power of partnership and collaboration,” he said.

In response to recent moves by two Colorado cities to place moratoriums on the use of fracking within their local boundaries (see Shale Daily, Jan. 13), Hickenlooper promised to work with counties and municipalities on the issue. He said that the state cannot afford to have 64 different sets of rules regarding the drilling technology that is unlocking vast new domestic oil and gas supplies in various parts of the country.

“We intend to work with counties and municipalities to make sure we have appropriate regulation on oil/gas development, but recognize we can’t have 64 or even more different sets of rules,” Hickenlooper said.

Noting that his state is poised to be a leader in unconventional energy technology, Hickenlooper pointed to new technologies for extracting shale oil in the Niobrara formation and stressed that Colorado continues to be blessed with what he called “abundant reserves of natural gas.”

“We continue to build on the state’s reputation as a leader in promoting solar, wind and renewable energies and developing cleaner fossil fuels,” he said. “Colorado’s energy sector holds tremendous promise.”

Hickenlooper also touted the use of natural gas as a transportation fuel, citing the fact that a multi-state effort with Oklahoma to secure more compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles has now drawn up to eight states in issuing a joint request for proposals from the CNG sector. “Because the vehicles are cheaper to operate, many local municipalities are interested in joining us to.”

Because of the work of his state energy office, Hickenlooper said Colorado now is a state with both resources and the reputation “for developing clean energy.”