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Colo. ballot measure on oil and gas setbacks gains a list of opponents

Author: Joey Bunch - September 13, 2018 - Updated: September 14, 2018

I-am-CO-Oil-and-Gas-1280x720.jpg
oil and gas industryOil and gas industry supporters rallied at the Colorado Capitol on Aug. 2 against new regulations. (Photo courtesy of Vital for Colorado)

A ballot measure to require deep setbacks from oil and gas operations in Colorado picked up a long list of opponents Wednesday.

Proposition 112 would require industry operations to be at least 2,500 feet from schools, homes and businesses, instead of the current 1,00o-foot setback for schools and hospitals and 500 feet from homes.

A nearly half-mile setback has been called virtual ban based on where deposits are located, say those who have opposed the measure backed by Colorado Rising. That list includes Democratic gubernatorial nominee Jared Polis. Republican nominee Walker Stapleton, an unabashed supporter of the oil and gas association, also opposes the proposition.

A separate, somewhat competing measure, Initiative 108, seeks to compensate those who lose value in the land because of regulations on such this as blocking mineral rights.

RELATED: Initiative 108: A record 209K petition signatures turned in 

Thirty-one business associations and 42 elected officials added their name to the opposition Wednesday.

“The intent of this proposal is to in-effect ban almost all oil and gas production in Colorado,” Kelly Brough, president and CEO of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, said in a statement. “But Colorado is a model for the country on how we can produce energy and protect our people and our environment. Proposition 112 goes too far and hurts our economy, hitting Colorado’s rural communities the hardest.”

Loren Furman, senior vice president of state and federal relations for the Colorado Association of Commerce and Industry, said studies she’s seen indicate three-quarters of the jobs lost because of restrictions on oil and gas development would be outside the industry, because of its broader support for the state economy.

“That is why you are seeing the business community working so hard to defeat this measure and to convince our fellow Coloradans to vote no on 112,” said Furman, who also is a board member for Vital Colorado, the business coalition supporting the industry.

Tony Gagliardi, state director of the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), fears the ripple effect could “literally trigger a recession in Colorado.”

“It doesn’t just ban drilling near residential areas – it also bans drilling in rural and sparsely populated areas, too.” he stated.

Here is a list of associations that officially opposed the measure this week:

  • Denver Metro Commercial Association of Realtors
  • Colorado Homebuilders Association
  • Colorado Bankers Association
  • Colorado Association of Realtors
  • Colorado Association of Mechanical and Plumbing Contractors
  • Mechanical Contractors Association of Colorado
  • Mechanical Service Contractors Association of Colorado
  • National Certified Pipe Welding Bureau, Colorado Chapter
  • Colorado Farm Bureau
  • Northwest Douglas County Economic Development Corp.
  • Housing & Building Association of Colorado Springs
  • Colorado Cattlemen’s Association
  • American Council of Engineering Companies of Colorado
  • South Metro Denver Chamber of Commerce
  • Metro North Chamber of Commerce
  • Highlands Ranch Chamber of Commerce
  • Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Colorado Business Roundtable
  • Colorado Apartment Association
  • Pikes Peak Association of Realtors
  • Northern Colorado Legislative Alliance
  • Economic Development Council of Colorado
  • Colorado Contractors Association
  • Colorado Springs Chamber and EDC
  • Associated General Contractors of Colorado
  • Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce
  • NFIB-Colorado
  • Club 20
  • Colorado Association of Commerce and Industry
  • City of Centennial
  • Colorado Municipal League

Here is a list of officeholders who oppose it:

  • State Rep. Lois Landgraf
  • State Rep. Dave Williams
  • State Rep. Larry Liston
  • State Rep. Shane Sandridge
  • State Rep. Paul Lundeen
  • State Rep. Susan Beckman
  • State Rep. Terry Carver
  • State Rep. Paul Rosenthal
  • Former House Majority Leader Amy Stephens
  • Former State Rep. Rob Fairbank
  • Former State Rep. Spencer Swalm
  • Former State Rep. Frank Defillipo
  • State Sen. Bob Gardner
  • State Sen. Jack Tate
  • State Sen. Owen Hill
  • State Sen. Kevin Priola
  • State Sen. and Joint Budget Committee member Kent Lambert
  • Former Centennial Mayor Cathy Noon
  • Former State Sen. Bernie Herpin
  • Former State Sen. Andy McElhany
  • Former State Sen. Nancy Spence
  • Former State Rep. Kit Roupe
  • Arapahoe County Commissioner Jeff Baker
  • El Paso County Commissioner Longinus Gonzalez
  • El Paso County Commissioner Mark Waller
  • El Paso County Commissioner Peggy Littleton
  • El Paso County Commissioner Stan VanderWerf
  • El Paso County Commissioner Dennis Hisey
  • Weld County Commissioner Sean Conway
  • Weld County Commissioner Julie Cozad
  • Weld County Commissioner Mike Freeman
  • Weld County Commissioner Barbara Kirkmeyer
  • Weld County Commissioner Steve Moreno
  • Former Douglas County Commissioner Mary Michael Cooke
  • Former Mayor Tom Norton
  • Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers
  • Colorado Springs City Councilman Andy Pico
  • Colorado Springs City Councilman Tom Strand
  • Colorado Springs City Councilman Don Knight
  • Colorado Springs City Councilman Merv Bennett
  • Colorado Springs City Councilwoman Jill Gaebler
  • Former Douglas County School Board President Kevin Larsen

Joey Bunch

Joey Bunch

Joey Bunch is the senior political correspondent for Colorado Politics. He has a 31-year career in journalism, including the last 15 in Colorado. He was part of the Denver Post team that won the Pulitzer Prize in 2013 and is a two-time Pulitzer finalist. His resume includes covering high school sports, the environment, the casino industry and civil rights in the South, as well as a short stint at CNN.