A total of four ballot proposals that opponents say would, if approved by voters, scale back oil and gas operations in Colorado, have received the go-ahead to collect signatures in a bid to be on the 2016 ballot.
Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams on Tuesday said supporters could start gathering signatures for Initiative No. 75, a proposed constitutional amendment to allow local governments to regulate oil and gas development.
The question of which level of authority — local governments or state agencies — can best oversee the multi-billion dollar industry in Colorado has been a source of controversy for years.
Williams also announced Tuesday that supporters of Initiative No. 63, the “right to a healthy environment,” could also begin collecting signatures.
To be placed on the November 2016 ballot, supporters of ballot initiatives need to gather 98,492 valid signatures and deliver them to the Colorado Secretary of States office by August 8.
A third proposal, No. 78, was cleared to gather signatures April 8.
No. 78 would expand Colorado’s existing buffer zones surrounding oil and gas operations from 500 feet to 2,500 feet, a move opponents say, if approved by voters, would ban drilling across a wide area of the state.
Those three proposals, No. 63, 75 and 78, are supported by Coloradans Resisting Extreme Energy Development (CREED), which describes itself as a grassroots organization that “will challenge the oil and gas industry’s ability to put hazardous industrial development near neighborhoods, schools and waterways.”