Fossil fuel industry attacks proposed ballot measure as economically destructive
Feeling the increased pressure from health- and environment-minded citizens and communities, Colorado’s oil and industry reacted strongly to the news that a proposed fracking-regulation initiative is one step closer to reaching the statewide ballot box.
Initiative 78 would require that all “new oil and gas development facilities” to be located at least 2,500 feet from “occupied structures and areas of special concern.” It would enable local governments to establish greater setbacks, and does not ban new construction within the setbacks.
Advocates say the measure is needed to protect public health, including air and water quality, but the state’s oil and gas barons claim the initiative would strip some Coloradans of property rights and devastate the economy.
The state’s Title Board recently gave the initiative’s backers the green light for collection petition signatures for the measure. The deadline for submitting signatures is Aug. 8, with a Sept. 7 certification deadline.
In a statement reacting to the ballot measure, the fossil fuel industry claimed the initiative is backed by national activist groups. The required setbacks could eliminate up to 87 percent of new production in Weld County, according to the industry.