An ad hoc group of opponents to Colorado Senate Bill 181 said it will not attempt to overturn the controversial measure this year.
The decision follows the Colorado Secretary of State’s rejection of proposed initiatives Nos. 64 through 67, contending they violated a requirement that ballot initiatives address a single issue. The initiatives’ backers, including current or former local elected officials, withdrew their appeal petitions but said they could resume their efforts next year.
Former Arapahoe County Commissioner John Brackney and Weld County Commission Chair Barbara Kirkmeyer backed the proposed ballot measure, the Oil and Gas Independent Regulatory Act. Brackney told NGI’s Shale Daily he has mixed emotions about giving up repeal efforts.
“I’m fairly confident state regulators and some local governments will not act reasonably and rationally, and we’ll be forced to file an initiative,” Brackney said. “I hope that I’m wrong, but I’m fairly confident that I’m right.”
The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) is expected to issue multiple rulemakings in the next few years to implement the law signed last month by Gov. Jared Polis. The opponents’ proposal was designed to nullify the law, which gives local governments more authority over energy development and reduces COGCC authority.
The Colorado Oil and Gas Association “is focused on ensuring that our industry can continue to operate in Colorado,” said spokesman Scott Prestidge. The first of the rulemakings is scheduled to begin in the next two months. “It will take years for all of them to be discussed, formed, and then implemented.”
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