The Secretary of state’s office announced this morning that two fracking regulation ballot measures would not be presented to voters this November.
Initiatives 75 and 78 would have increased setbacks for oil and gas operations and would have given local authorities more control in regulating the industry.
The Secretary of state’s office said the measures did not have enough valid signatures to make the ballot.
The proponents of the initiatives, the “Yes for Health and Safety Over Fracking” campaign say they are reviewing the ruling and the disallowed signatures to determine whether to file a challenge.
Diana Best, a Denver based organizer with Greenpeace USA who was part of the Yes for Health and Safety over Fracking campaign says today’s ruling is not the end of citizen led activism against fracking.
“We’re exploring other options moving forward….the movement to protect Coloradans from the impacts of fracking in their communities has never been stronger. In the last couple of months we’ve seen an unprecedented amount of support from all corners of this state of people standing up and saying we don’t want fracking in our back yards, we don’t want it near our schools, we want to be able to choose for ourselves how it is regulated in our communities and that energy is not going anywhere.”
A decline to sign campaign had been launched to discourage people from signing the petitions that would have gotten the measures on the ballot. An estimated $15 million was spent by oil and gas industry groups on that campaign. Best says that while that effort shows the resources available to the oil and gas industry to defeat opposition, it also shows the level of grass roots support for more fracking regulations.
“We know that the industry is strong and we know that people power can surpass that. People here in Colorado know that fracking is not safe, we know that people support stronger and tighter regulations and we’re going to keep moving forward until we can actually protect our communities from fracking in our backyards.”
UPDATE: Capitol Coverage’s Report on the story: