COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – This used to be a land proud of its oil barons. Now the energy industry that has brought wealth and jobs across the interior West is prompting angry protests by citizens sporting gas masks and using bullhorns at public hearings.
A generation after the fictional oil tycoons of the TV soap "Dynasty" gave Denver's oil and gas industry a glamorous sheen, the Rocky Mountain region appears to be questioning its romance with the industry.
New drilling technology has moved oil and gas production from the sparsely populated plains, where oil rigs are embraced as job creators, closer to cities and suburbs. Now, conflicts are increasing along the populous eastern fringe of the Rockies.