Western Slopers are gearing up for a legislative fight to prevent lawmakers from raising severance taxes on oil, gas and coal, which would further cripple energy industries before they can fully rebound from the disastrous Obama administration.

Gary Harmon of the Daily Sentinel reports on the brewing storm, and efforts by local officials to help lawmakers resist the temptation.

Needless to say, they aren’t keen on increasing taxes on the struggling energy industry, especially when those tax dollars that were supposed to help small towns deal with the effects of energy production rarely make their way back to the Western Slope.

Northwestern Colorado communities are at a disadvantage because they’re unable to provide matching funds — because of the doldrums of the energy economy — for grants administered by the Colorado Department of Local Affairs, Petersen said.

That means severance tax money is frequently spent away from the areas in which it was generated, she said.

If the legislature is going to monkey around with severance taxes this session, they should encourage the industry’s growth, not stifle its ability to prosper.