“…we are watching and we expect more.” — Anne Lee Foster, Colorado Rising.
The proponents behind Proposition 112, a grass roots effort to get increased set backs for new oil and gas development that voters rejected on Tuesday, say that they will continue to fight for stronger regulation of the oil and gas industry. The measure failed by a 57 percent to 43 percent margin, and had faced a $40 million opposition campaign funded by the oil and gas industry.
Anne Lee Foster with Colorado Rising, the organization behind 112, says that while many people are hopeful that Democratic control of the state house and senate could mean the passage of stricter oil and gas regulations, she cautions that grass roots activists need to stay involved.
“I think we’re going to have to continue to fight. I’ve talked to several representatives and they have told me that despite Democratic control, they don’t know if we’ll be able to get things passed. Ken Salazar who is a very influential person in the Democratic party is also Anadarko’s lead attorney. I think it’s one of those cases of follow the money. We’re going to continue to have to hold our representatives accountable. If our politicians had represented us the way that they should, the citizens wouldn’t have to resort to running a ballot initiative. So that is our task moving forward – to continue to make sure they know that this is an issue that needs to be addressed and that we are watching and we expect more.”
Foster says that despite the disappointment in the election results, many of the volunteers who were involved in the campaign are energized to continue to fight for stricter oil and gas regulations.
“We continue to build that capacity and build that movement, which is happening as we speak.”
Colorado’s new governor Jared Polis told the Denver Post yesterday that he didn’t support Prop 112 but he supports making sure that local communities have seats at the table and that we have a stronger backstop for setbacks when there’s no surface use agreement in place.