Energy giants launch ad blitz to stop Colorado fracking rules

Oil and natural gas giants Anadarko Petroleum Corp. and Noble Energy Inc. have launched an advertising blitz to stop state measures aimed at curbing hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

The companies, along with their group Coloradans for Responsible Energy Development, spent $1 million on television ads in the fourth quarter of 2013, Bloomberg News reported. The efforts have included commercials on TV and radio and special sections in the Denver Post and on websites.

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The effort comes as Colorado state officials consider whether 10 oil and natural gas proposals should go on the ballot in November. They would allow individual communities to prohibit fracking and require that wells be farther from homes, Bloomberg said.

Anadarko and Noble, the largest oil and gas producers in Colorado, say the measures would amount to a statewide fracking ban.

Proponents of the measures say they would increase local control over the controversial method. But the oil industry said the current rules are sufficient.

The industry’s ads tout the $30 billion that oil and natural gas generate for Colorado’s economy annually, as well as a decades-long safety record for fracking. If fracking were banned, the state could lose $8 billion in gross domestic product and 68,000 jobs in the first five years, Bloomberg said.