Stories of loss and anxiety emerge in Colorado’s oil debate

DENVER (AP) — Colorado’s long-running battle over oil and gas drilling in suburban neighborhoods has erupted again, and the stakes are deeply personal.

State lawmakers are debating stronger health and safety regulations for the industry, and stories of loss and anxiety are emerging on both sides.

Erin Martinez says no one should have to face the tragedy her family suffered. Her husband and brother died in an explosion linked to a gas well.

She supports tighter rules, including one requiring a public map of pipelines like the one that bled natural gas into her basement.

But oilfield workers say the sweeping new rules could shut down one of the few careers that offer them and their families a good living. They say they’re safety-minded people but feel demonized and ignored.

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