Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Colorado anti-fracking measures fail to get enough signatures to make November ballot

Anti-fracking protesters in 2015 at
the Colorado Supreme Court Building (Post photo)
Activists in Colorado failed to gather enough signatures to get anti-fracking measures on the November ballot, Mark Matthews reports for The Denver Post. "Their goal was to put two proposals before Colorado voters: one that would prohibit energy companies from building new oil and gas facilities within 2,500 feet of homes or other occupied building and another that would give more power to local governments to restrict fracking." Petitions are required to have 98,492 voter signatures.

"Opposition to the anti-fracking initiatives was fierce from the oil and gas industry," Matthews writes. "A group called Protect Colorado—which is funded by the energy sector as well as ranchers and other businesses—led an effort dubbed Decline to Sign that was intended to chill momentum for the anti-fracking effort."

Colorado residents tried to get similar measures on the 2014 ballot. That move was derailed by Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper, who has said he would do whatever it takes to keep beat anti-fracking initiatives. In May, the Colorado Supreme Court ruled against Front Range towns that wanted to pass anti-fracking measures, saying state law trumps local ones.

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