Colorado Sen. Matt Jones, D-Louisville, said Wednesday he will push for new laws to give local governments control over oil and gas operations within their borders.

Currently, state officials at the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) have the final say over many aspects of oil and gas operations — and require energy companies to work closely with local officials and neighborhoods when new wells are located near homes and businesses. Local governments regulate issues such as traffic and dust control at and around well sites.

But for years, state and local officials, as well as industry representatives, have tussled over which level of government — state or local — should have the final word on where new wellsites are located.

Jones was unequivocal Wednesday, saying local governments should have that authority. He said he will introduce the “PROTECT Act” during the 2018 legislative session, which starts Jan. 10, 2018.

Read more about the impending political fight - and what's going on right now - at the Denver Business Journal.