4:27pm

Mon June 30, 2014
Oil and Gas

Group Cleared For Signature Gathering As Special Session Hopes Dwindle

The group Safe. Clean. Colorado. said it’s received clearance from the Colorado Supreme Court to gather signatures for more statewide ballot measures placing limits on oil and gas development.

Campaign director Nick Passanante said so far his group has received clearance for nine ballot measures (Nos. 85-93). Because many of the measures contain slight wording changes, he said up to three on different oil and gas related topics could end up in front of voters this November.

“As of right now we’re collecting signatures for No. 88, which is a 2,000 foot setback measure, [and] No. 89, which is the Environmental Bill of Rights, which basically puts into effect the right of all Coloradans to have clean air, pure water and natural scenic values,” he said.

Passanante said his group will decide in the coming days whether to gather signatures for a third issue, which would give communities more local control over oil and gas regulations.

The news comes as hopes for convening a special legislative session to pass local control measures are on the decline. Legislators and Gov. John Hickenlooper had hoped to pass legislation in order to thwart the need for ballot issues, which will be written into the state constitution.

The Denver Post had reported that 19 oil and gas producers said they wouldn’t support the compromise legislation. That led the Governor to put the chances of a special session at less than half.

Rep. Jared Polis — who backs many of the local control ballot issues — has said that he would support a special session.

Each issue requires 86,105 valid signatures to make it onto the November ballot. The signatures are due August 4.