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Colorado Rising Seeking Ballot Spot for Initiative 97

In Breaking News, Elections, Featured, Fracking, Morning Magazine

 

This November voters in Colorado could be deciding on a statewide ballot measure that would significantly increase set backs from fracking rigs.  Initiative 97, a statutory amendment, would establish 2500 feet buffer zones between fracking and occupied buildings – like homes and schools – and areas of special concern – like playgrounds and drinking water sources.

Suzanne Spiegel of Colorado Rising, the group behind Initiative 97, says this is a grassroots effort that is already facing a well-funded opposition from the oil and gas industry.

With less than a month to the August 6th deadline to submit petitions, Spiegel says that big oil/gas is spending $8.4 million dollars against the initiative by hiring harassers to intimidate volunteer signature collectors and signers.

“They literally hire guys whose job is to come out and intimidate and harass our signature gatherers which is pretty crazy. They literally will have 3 guys, last week, following around a grandmother who is a volunteer for us and just harassing her, standing between her and the people she’s trying to speak with, following her and just making it really difficult for her to do her work.”

Colorado Rising is now working to get the remaining signatures needed to qualify for the ballot and Spiegel says they are also having to do extra fundraisers to counteract the opposition campaign by the oil and gas industry. They have partnered with a local roofing company to raise funds for the initiative by offering free roof inspections to people who may have experienced hail damage.  If damage is found, people can sign up to replace your roof through Colorado Rising and commission will be paid straight to the campaign. To set up an inspection email unite@corising.org or call 914-563-6080.

This month the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission released a report on the potential impact of Initiative 97 saying that if approved, an estimated 54% of Colorado’s total land surface would be unavailable for new oil and gas development.

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