Mike King, the state's top official overseeing oil and gas development, told industry executives Tuesday that if they want to win acceptance from communities, they will have to adopt practices above what is legally required.

"If you want to be accepted and just not authorized, you need to go above and beyond what the law requires," King said at the Colorado Oil and Gas Association's annual conference.

King is the executive director of the Colorado Department of Natural Resources and sits on the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission.

A number of counties and communities have enacted or are considering ordinances limiting drilling or banning it outright.

Boulder and Fort Collins moved Monday toward putting drilling moratoriums on the November ballot.

"We have acute impacts in multiple counties that haven't dealt with it before," King said. "We are not doing a good job of explaining the benefits."

Companies have to engage with local governments and residents community by community, he said.

"This is going to be done at the retail level," King said.

Mark Jaffe: 303-954-1912, mjaffe@denverpost.com or twitter.com/bymarkjaffe