Oil Is Booming in Weld County, but Where Are the Modern-Day Carringtons?

January 17 2011, 2:00 PM

The 1980s TV series based on a family of Denver oil barons, Dynasty, may hit the big screen in the form of a prequel, writes Westword, which points out that the old series was never filmed in the Mile High City. But if producers showed up these days, they'd find a seemingly healthy industry that is also embracing change.

As the Greeley Tribune reports, Weld County has established itself as an energy industry hotbed, but not just for oil and gas, which account for 40 percent of the county's assessed valuation. There's also plenty of solar, wind, and biomass taking root and bringing jobs. Mike King, the executive director of the state's Department of Natural Resources, who helped craft new drilling rules criticized by the oil and gas industries but cheered by conservationists, thinks his agency can find a balance between business and environmental interests. "We're going to have to focus on making sure that Colorado is open for business, and we're working well with folks in the tourism industry and the oil and gas industry," he tells the Fort Collins Coloradoan.

Last week, Democrats vowed support for U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar's initiative to require drillers to disclose the chemicals they use to extract natural gas, according to the Durango Herald. Congresswoman Diana DeGette, a Denver Democrat, has been fighting to regulate the fracking process, in which fluids are used to force open underground rock formations to allow natural gas to flow into wells. The industry views the fluids as a trade secret, but many are concerned that the fluids are a threat to public health, as put forth in the documentary Gasland, which was partly filmed in Colorado.