Six would-be ballot measures aimed at restricting oil and natural gas development were submitted to the Colorado Secretary of State on Tuesday by an anti-drilling group that sponsored a failed measure in 2018.
Three of the six measures by Colorado Rising are repeats of the rejected Proposition 112 measure two years ago.
Among other things, the group is once again seeking to require 2,500-foot setbacks for drilling sites “from occupied structures and other sensitive areas.” The state setback rule now is 500 feet for residences and 1,000 feet for schools, hospitals and other high-occupancy buildings.
The state’s energy industry reacted as expected.
Colorado Petroleum Council Executive Director Lynn Granger said rather than pushing negative measures, the group should be “advancing policies that support — not hinder — the progress that is protecting public health and reducing emissions while growing Colorado’s economy and long-term prosperity.”
Oil and gas operators in the state, Granger said, are committed to the ongoing rulemaking process under state Senate Bill 181.
Similarly, CEO Dan Haley of the Colorado Oil and Gas Association called the revised proposals by Colorado Rising “déjà vu all over again,” and accused the group of attempting to bring back the keep-it-in-the ground movement.
“I’m confident Coloradans will again stand with working families and decline to sign these disastrous petitions,” Haley said. He noted that Gov. Jared Polis and political leaders on both sides of the aisle rejected the measure in 2018.
“I expect that will happen again given the grave consequences, and also considering nearly every aspect of our industry is currently under an intense regulatory microscope as state officials work to fully implement Senate Bill 181.”
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