DENVER (AP) — Colorado should use unexpected tax money to study the effects of oil and gas drilling on air quality. That's a request by Gov. John Hickenlooper in a letter to lawmakers about tax collections that exceeded expectations last year.
The Democratic governor has said the drilling practice known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is safe. But skeptics remain. The governor told lawmakers Friday that they should spend about $11 million for the state Health Department to study the impacts of oil and gas extraction on environmental air quality.
Hickenlooper has also requested $12 million more for schools and $10 millon for wildfire prevention.
Hickenlooper's spending plan has been adjusted because the state knows more about taxes than it did in November, when Hickenlooper made his formal budget request.