Yesterday, members of the Colorado Rising campaign delivered over 170,000 signatures to the Secretary of State’s office to qualify Initiative 97 for the November ballot. This initiative would require a 2,500-foot buffer zone between new fracking wells and homes, playgrounds, hospitals, schools and waterways.
If certified by the Secretary of State and approved by voters in November, the measure would extend the current setback from 500 feet to 2500 feet, or about a half mile. That would restrict fracking from about 85% of state land in Colorado, making this initiative our best chance to protect our water, health and climate from the dangers of fracking.
Monday’s signature delivery was a historic accomplishment, not only because it virtually guarantees that the initiative will be on the ballot this fall, but because it shows the huge number of Coloradans who are ready to take on the dangerous fracking industry to protect our health and communities.
Oil and Gas Companies Went All Out To Stop This
In recent years, oil and gas companies have spent more than $80 million to defeat anti-fracking measures and buy out Colorado politicians. After Colorado’s Supreme Court ruled against local fracking bans, the fracking industry stepped up its efforts to buy political influence in our state. This year alone, fracking companies have raised more than $8 million dollars to keep this initiative off the ballot and continue drilling in our communities.
The industry was relentless in its attempts to keep voters from signing the petition to place initiative 97 on the ballot. A group funded largely by Anadarko Petroleum, one of the biggest fracking companies in the state, actually paid people to follow petition circulators and harass them in order to discourage voters from signing. And with less than three weeks before the signature deadline, two firms that had been hired to gather signatures by Colorado Rising admitted to being compromised by the industry.
Overcoming all of these obstacles, the campaign turned in over 171,000 signatures from Colorado voters all across the state.
Food & Water Watch is honored to support the incredible partners in this campaign: Colorado Rising, 350 Colorado, Earth Guardians, Frack-Free Colorado, and so many more. And most of all, the amazing volunteers who worked so hard to gather signatures for this initiative. Thank you!
Huge news in Colorado: a volunteer-led campaign gathered 171,000 signatures to place an initiative on the ballot that would restrict fracking in the state. This is a massive accomplishment and shaping up to be the biggest climate fight in 2018. Congrats to @ColoradoRising! pic.twitter.com/kQlEmV3k6u
— Food & Water Watch (@foodandwater) August 7, 2018
What Happens Next?
If this initiative is placed on the ballot, it will be the biggest fracking and climate issue in front of voters this November, anywhere in the country. Taking on the oil and gas industry in Colorado is a monumental challenge, so that means we need everyone who opposes fracking to help make this campaign a success.
We plan to do everything we can to educate and turn out voters in Colorado, by knocking on doors, calling and texting voters, and having thousands of conversations about the issues at stake. But in order to take on the millions of dollars being spent by Big Oil & Gas, we need support from people like you. Donate to Food & Water Action to support our work to pass this historic initiative in Colorado and fight fracking everywhere.