BRIGHTON, Colo. (CBS4) – Colorado voters will be casting their ballots soon in this year’s statewide election, and groups who oppose a ballot measure about oil and gas regulations held a rally on Thursday.
Proposition 112 would require a 2,500 foot buffer between new oil and gas drilling in Colorado and any occupied structure or area that a local government declares vulnerable.
The opponents who gathered at the Adams County Fairgrounds Thursday told CBS4 this is about keeping a viable business. They say it would kill a huge source of revenue for the state.
They say more limitations on fracking would devastate the state’s economy. They believe it would eliminate around 150,000 jobs, from construction to local government.
“This will essentially ban the industry, considering 85 percent of private and state owned land would be off-limits to any new energy development and that threatens the entire industry,” said Rich Coolidge, a member of the group Vital Colorado.
112 supporters feel it’s imperative the measure passes for health and safety reasons. Groups like Colorado Rising say creating larger buffer zones between oil operations and occupied buildings would better protect the public from fracking. They believe it would reduce the threat to nearby homes, schools and vulnerable areas with water sources.
Most 112 opponents believe their stance doesn’t have anything to do with safety. They say the proposition is just an energy ban in disguise.
There is already a law that requires oil and gas developments to be a certain distance away from buildings, but 112 supporters says it’s not far enough to eliminate harm.
Ballots go out on Oct. 15.