Signature drive for local control oil and gas initiatives start in Colorado

Horizontal Drilling Rig in Weld County Colorado - Credit Niobrara News

Horizontal Drilling Rig in Weld County Colorado – Credit Niobrara News

By Mark Jaffe – The Denver Post – 6/18/2014

The drive for signatures to put two initiatives bolstering local control of oil and gas drilling on the November ballot began Wednesday even as negotiations to find a legislative compromise continue.

About 60 canvassers spread out in the Denver area to collect signatures on two ballot initiatives.

“They are up against the wall in terms of time,” said Eric Sondermann, an independent political consultant. “To meet the Aug. 4 deadline, they had to go.”

The ballot measures are being managed by Coloradans for Safety and Clean Energy, a campaign committee supported by U.S. Rep. Jared Polis, D-Boulder.

Initiative 88 would require drilling rigs to be set back 2,000 feet from homes — four times the current state rule. Initiative 89 would create the so-called Environmental Bill of Rights.

But no sooner had canvassers hit the streets than a legal challenge was filed by an opponent — Coloradans for Responsible Reform.

The business-backed coalition, in a brief to the state Supreme Court, said the sponsors had violated their pledge to collect signatures on just one of four similar measures.

Coloradans for Safe and Clean Energy had intended to collect signatures on two versions of a setback initiative.

Continue reading story at The Denver Post

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