Sharon Dunn – Greeley Tribune – June 11, 2016
As they say in sports, it could all come down to this one game.
Colorado’s November election could be a pivotal one for the oil and gas industry if voters are presented with questions to limit drilling in the state.
“One thing I’m not clear about is how this will run headlong in a collision (course) with the whole business of property rights. How far can they go in the name of local control, or state control? … I’m not sure you can amend a state constitution to obliterate a property right.— John Straayer, a political science professor at Colorado State University and political analyst
From the money the election would command, to the potential legal questions they could pose, to the implications for drilling across the country, a lot will be riding on petitioners’ abilities to collect signatures to place four issues on the ballot.
The initiatives would limit oil and gas drilling in local communities or give governing bodies rights to curtail such activities within their borders — measures that are sure to command millions of dollars in campaign spending. Many think this could easily be a $200 million election issue in Colorado this year.
“This will be one of the biggest environmental fights in the country this year,” said Lauren Petrie, Rocky Mountain region director for Food and Water Watch, a Washington, D.C.,-based group advocating for safety in food production and oil and gas production. “All eyes will be on the outcome for these Colorado ballot initiatives.”