And last month, a coalition of Colorado groups that helped spearhead the voter-approved bans formally proposed a statewide ballot measure that would allow counties, cities and towns to adopt their own oil and gas drilling regulations. The ballot measure by Local Control Colorado would amend the state constitution to add language allowing local governments to “place restrictions on the time, place or method of oil-and-gas development, including but not limited to the use of hydraulic fracturing, that are intended to protect their communities and citizens” (E&ENews PM, Feb. 24).
The coalition wants to place the measure on the November statewide ballot.
In the face of such opposition, it comes as no surprise that industry-funded CRED would beef up efforts to sway public opinion, “as they could have a lot to lose both at the ballot box and in the courtroom,” said Ross Lane, director of the government watchdog group Western Values Project.
“But I think for most Coloradans, they’re simply looking for industry to do right by their communities, land, water and air,” Lane said. “If industry did those things all the time, they wouldn’t need an expensive PR campaign in the first place.”
The public opposition to fracking comes despite recent moves by Gov. John Hickenlooper (D), through the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, to adopt a number of significant state regulations designed to better oversee the industry.