By Rick Sallinger

BRIGHTON, Colo. (CBS4) – A key issue on the ballot will have a big impact on the energy industry in Colorado. Proposition 112, if passed, would require future oil and gas projects in the state to be a minimum of 2,500 feet from occupied buildings and other vulnerable areas.

The law now calls for various buffers from 350 to 1,000 feet. It is an issue that tugs at the heart strings and also at the purse strings, one in which the female vote will be important.

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Anne Lee Foster is a volunteer with Colorado Rising, proponents of the ballot measure. She says research has shown living at greater distances from oil and gas facilities would be safer for women.

“The health studies have shown a particular impact during pregnancy and negative birth impact,” said Foster.

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But opponents may be blunting that argument featuring ads with women.

In one commercial individual women speak then come together to say, “We are asking you to join all of us to vote no on 112.”

At the Adams County Fairgrounds on Thursday, hundreds gathered in opposition to Proposition 112. One main theme: if it should pass, their jobs may be gone.

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Jan Kulmann works for Noble Energy and hopes the measure will fail to pass.

“I’m a mother, too. I have two kids, 13 and 10, and both of them understand the energy industry and how important it is to our economy,” she told CBS4’s Rick Sallinger

The “yes on 112” side has been using the deadly Firestone house explosion in some of its presentations, but opponents say that wouldn’t have been affected.

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“I would never want to see that happen and I don’t think (proposition) 112 addresses that at all,” said Kulmann.

Rep. Ken Buck, a Republican who represents Northern Colorado, was among at the rallying saying passage of the measure could spell economic devastation for the state’s oil and gas industry.

“We need to tell them to frack off,” he shouted to the applause of those in the audience.

Ballots go out on ‪Oct. 15.

CBS4’s Rick Sallinger is a Peabody award winning reporter who has been with the station more than two decades doing hard news and investigative reporting. Follow him on Twitter @ricksallinger.