“Right now local governments don’t even have the ability to use local zoning on oil and gas.”
Tricia Olsen is a spokesperson for Coloradans Resisting Extreme Energy Development. CREED has two ballot proposals that would increase regulation of fracking at the local government level.
“Other industries do have to put up with local zoning and local ordinances that affect their industries.”
Initiative #75, “Local Governmental Control of Oil and Gas Development,” recognizes that oil and gas development, like every other industry, should be subject to local jurisdiction. With state rules as the minimum regulations, the measure would give each local government a wide range of options to protect their communities and neighborhoods from the harms generally associated with oil and gas development including hydraulic fracturing otherwise known as fracking.
“There’s been research showing that there are much greater health impacts when you are within a half mile, roughly, of oil and gas development.”
Initiative #78, “Mandatory Setbacks from Oil and Gas Development,” would establish a buffer zone of 2,500 feet around homes, hospitals, schools, and sensitive areas like playgrounds and water sources for new oil and gas development. Unlike the current setback of 500 feet from homes, 2500 feet is based upon health studies that show increased health risks within a half-mile of “fracked” wells and the perimeters of real-life explosion, evacuation, and burn zones.
“It’s a failure on the part of all of state government.”
CREED is trying to bring these initiatives directly to the ballot due to the lack of activity on the part of lawmakers. They are currently in the signature gathering stage, which needs to be completed by August 8th. 98,000 verified signatures need to be submitted to the Secretary of State’s office. Olsen says they are aiming to gather 160,000 signatures by the deadline. People can get involved in a number of ways by contacting CREED at their website.