Colorado: Gas and Oil Opponents Move Forward with Ballot Measures

The backers of two proposed measure that mandates a setback for new oil-and-gas facilities completed the necessary steps to try to get the issue on the 2016 general election ballot. Initiative 75 would give city and county governments more power regulating oil-and-gas development in their jurisdictions. Under proposed Initiative 78, oil-and-gas operations, including wells that are fracked, must be at least 2,500 feet away from occupied buildings or “areas of special concern,” including lakes, playgrounds and open space.

The organizers behind Initiative 75 and 78, Bruce Mason of Boulder and Karen Dike of Longmont, have an Aug. 8 deadline to turn in 98,492 valid voter signatures for each initiative, which is 5 percent of the total votes cast for all candidates for Secretary of State in the last general election. The pair has another third initiative (63) titled “The Right to a Healthy Environment” which has not yet been approved by the Secretary of State’s Title Setting Board.

Another initiative has been approved for signature gathering (40) which also is designed to limit gas and oil activities. This initiative says people have the right to define or eliminate the rights of corporations or “business entities” in order to prevent them from harming “persons, communities or nature.”

Note: A variety of other ballot initiatives have been proposed on every subject from liquor in grocery stores to taxes for transportation. More information on the initiatives is available here: http://www.sos.state.co.us/pubs/elections/Initiatives/titleBoard/ Needless to say, the 2016 ballot will be lengthy.

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