Leaders for one of Colorado’s largest industries–oil-and-gas–tell state lawmakers that regulations meant to safeguard the environment would turn “the screws” on their business, writes the Denver Business Journal, which reports that rules proposed last year by state officials would push energy companies out of Colorado. (Halliburton Energy Services, for example, has begun layoffs in the state.)

The rules require oil-and-gas operators to work with the Colorado Division of Wildlife to minimize the effects on wildlife before drilling. Governor Bill Ritter says the global economic downturn is to blame for the industry’s cutbacks in the state, not the rules.

Meanwhile, Shell Exploration and Production Co. doesn’t seem to be shying away from Colorado, according to The Denver Post. The company is seeking a 15-billion-gallon water right on the Yampa River that has triggered a water war from thirsty Parker to ecological-minded officials at Dinosaur National Monument.