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Coloradans For Responsible Reform To Fight Anti-Fracking Ballot Measures

Grace Hood
A rig performs work nearby a neighborhood in Firestone, Colo.

A statewide coalition of business and political leaders is banding back together to fight anti-fracking initiatives expected to appear on the November 2014 election ballot.

Coloradans For Responsible Reform announced Wednesday plans to campaign against ballot measures seeking to give local governments more control over drilling and fracking.

Groups in favor of local control for oil and gas activity are floating about a dozen ballot initiatives right now. Not all are expected to make it to the ballot.

“Local control is a guise really for saying, 'gee if we have local control we can get rid of oil and gas,'” said Tom Norton, mayor of Greeley and co-chair of the group. "But the broader scope is you can’t really do that without interfering with the general business — the way general business operates.”

As The Denver Post reports, the other co-chairs of the group are Kelly Brough, president and CEO at the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce; Wellington Webb, a former mayor of Denver; Ken Salazar, formerly Secretary of the Interior; and Colorado Concern CEO Tamra Ward. The Post also notes that “labor unions, agricultural groups, chambers of commerce and health organizations are also among the 55 supporters, a count expected to grow to more than 100 by summer.”

Coloradans for Responsible Reform was last in the spotlight in 2010 when it opposed the so-called “ugly three” amendments — Amendments 60, 61 and Proposition 101. The issues had to do with how property taxes were raised; revising the current vehicle income and telecom taxes; and state and local debt limitations. Voters rejected all three proposals.

Editor's Note: An earlier version of this post misspelled Former Mayor Wellington Webb's last name.

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