Backers submit signatures for Colorado oil, gas initiatives

Backers of two initiatives that would limit oil and gas activity in Colorado submitted signatures to Secretary of State Wayne W. Williams’s office to place the measures before voters in the state’s Nov. 8 elections. The office has until Sept. 7 to certify whether the measures made the ballot.

Initiative No. 75 would allow local governments to prohibit, control, or impose moratoriums on oil and gas development; enact local laws that are more restrictive than state laws; and bar the state from preempting such laws, the secretary’s Ballot Title Setting Board said.

Initiative No. 78 would change the state’s setback requirements for any new oil and gas development to at least 2,500 ft from the nearest occupied structure or other specified or locally designated area, and authorize the state or a local government to require that any such new development be more than 2,500 ft away from such structures, it indicated.

The office now will conduct a 5% random sample of submitted signatures to determine whether the proposals meet the threshold to make the ballot. To qualify, proponents needed to submit 98,492 valid voter signatures—5% of the total votes cast for all Colorado secretary of state candidates in the 2012 general election.

“If these measures somehow make the ballot, Colorado voters will know exactly what’s at stake: private property rights; more than $1 billion in state and local taxes that help pay for schools, parks, libraries, and roads; energy security for our nation; and the good-paying jobs of more than 100,000 working families across our state,” Colorado Oil & Gas Association Pres. Dan Haley said after the initiatives’ backers met the Aug. 8 deadline.

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com

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