Boulder commissioner debating governor on fracking

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BOULDER, Colo. (AP) -- Boulder County Commissioner Elise Jones is debating Gov. John Hickenlooper on the impact of natural gas drilling and the chemicals used in the process.

Three hecklers have been ejected from Monday's debate at the University of Denver. One left playing a harmonica.

Issues on the agenda include public health concerns, the environmental impact and local economic considerations.

State officials insist they alone have the right to regulate how and where the industry does its drilling. Attorneys for the state are fighting local governments that try to impose their own rules.

Hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, is a gas drilling process that blasts chemical-laden water deep into the ground. Supporters say the process is safe, while opponents say the technique pollutes groundwater and the chemicals are unsafe.

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