Two statewide oil and gas measures, one for local control and the other for greater setbacks, survived their final legal challenges to begin collecting signatures.
Coloradans Resisting Extreme Energy Development (CREED) announced today that, their issues committee, “Yes for Health and Safety Over Fracking,” is ready to proceed with signature gathering for two of its initiative submissions: #75 regarding local control of oil and gas development and #78 regarding setbacks. The decision to go forward with these two measures came on the heels of the recent Supreme Court decision to affirm the title language for both measures.
Initiative #75, “Local Governmental Control of Oil and Gas Development,” recognizes that oil and gas development, like every other industry, should be subject to local jurisdiction. With state rules as a floor, the measure would give each local government a very wide range of options to protect their communities and neighborhoods from the harms generally associated with oil and gas development including hydraulic fracturing.
Initiative #78, “Mandatory Setbacks from Oil and Gas Development,” establishes a buffer zone of 2,500′ (less than ½ mile) around homes, hospitals and schools, as well as sensitive areas like playgrounds and drinking water sources, from new oil and gas development. Unlike the current setback of 500′ from homes, 2500′ is based upon objective measures such as health studies that show increased health risks within ½ mile of “fracked” wells and the perimeters of real-life explosion, evacuation, and burn zones.
Both ballot measures are designed to address shortcomings in state law and regulations, and to better protect Colorado’s public health, safety and welfare from the impacts of what has become hazardous industrial activity near homes, neighborhoods, schools, playgrounds, and drinking water sources.
According to CREED Executive Director, Tricia Olson, “In recent weeks, the State Legislature rejected two bills designed to remove biases in the law and protect Coloradans from the harms and proximity of this industrial process. One would have changed the state’s mission from fostering the development of oil and gas to administering it. Another would have given cities and counties the ability to zone oil and gas like they do other industries. Both bills failed, providing further proof that we, the people of Colorado, must change Colorado law ourselves.”
“These are common-sense, down-to-earth proposals to keep our communities from being overwhelmed and harmed by heavy industrial oil and gas operations right next to neighborhoods and schools,” added Tricia Olson, who is also the Executive Director of the initiatives issue committee, Yes for Health and Safety Over Fracking.
“Our Health, Our Future, Our Longmont is more than proud to endorse the amendments to the Colorado Constitution brought forward by Coloradans Resisting Extreme Energy Development. We will be hitting the streets for signatures to place local control of oil and gas development and a 2500-foot mandatory setback on the November 8, 2016 ballot. We emphatically encourage all of Longmont and the rest of the state to join the Yes for Health and Safety over Fracking committee to help us win in November,” said Kaye Fissinger, President of Our Longmont.
“There’s no better time than the present decrease in production to make certain that when Colorado operators ramp up the drilling again, they’ll be playing by a whole new set of rules,” said Peggy Tibbetts, impacted resident of Garfield County on the Western Slope.
Karen Dyke, outreach coordinator for CREED will be in Western Colorado this Sunday
Presentation from CREED about oil and gas ballot initiatives for 2016
Sunday, April 24 at 1:00 pm
Parachute Library, 244 Grand Valley Way, Parachute, CO 81635