Oil And Gas Initiatives Don’t Qualify for Colorado Election Ballot

Aug 29, 2016

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams announced initiatives 75 and 78 failed to make the November 2016 ballot after supporters failed to collect enough valid signatures.

Initiative 75 would have given local governments the authority to regulate development. Initiative 78 would have greatly increased the minimum distance between oil and gas operations and structures like homes, schools and parks. According to a report from the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, if the setback measure were to have taken effect, 90 percent of the land in Colorado would be off-limits to new development.

At least 98, 492 signatures are required to get an initiative on the ballot.

Here are some key numbers from the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office.

Initiative 75

·         Total number of qualified signatures submitted: 107,232

·         From a 5 percent random sample, 25.7 percent of signatures were thrown out

·         Initiative 75 is projected to have gotten 80.85 percent of the required valid signatures

Initiative 78

·         Total number of qualified signatures submitted: 106,626

·         From a 5 percent random sample, 27.7 percent of signatures were thrown out

·         Initiative 78 is projected to have gotten 78.29 percent of the required valid signatures

According to the Secretary of State’s office, around 30 percent of signatures submitted for most initiatives are found to be invalid.

The Colorado Oil and Gas Association, an industry trade group, is pleased with the outcome. In a statement, President Dan Haley wrote:

“Coloradans have sent a clear message that they don’t want to resolve these complex issues at the ballot box. The good news is that after this long and unnecessary battle, our state emerges as the winner.”

According to the most recent data, the committees behind the ballot initiatives had collected $424,021, mostly in contributions from individuals. The committees opposing the initiatives had collected $15,040,665.

Environmental groups behind the two initiatives have 30 days to appeal the decision to the Denver District Court.