Oil/Gas Development & Healthy Environment Measures Green Lit to try for Nov Ballot



DENVER, April 12, 2016 — The backers of a proposed constitutional amendment that would allow local government regulation of oil-and-gas development can begin collecting voter signatures to try to get the issue on the 2016 general election ballot, Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams announced today.

Karen Dike of Longmont and Bruce Mason of Boulder also got the go-ahead for signature collection on another proposal, dealing with the “right to a healthy environment.”

The Secretary of State’s office last week notified Dike and Mason that they had completed the necessary steps to begin collecting signatures for yet another proposed constitutional amendment, No. 78, dealing with mandatory setback requirements for oil-and gas development.

The language of proposed Initiative 63, “Right to Healthy Environment:”

An amendment to the Colorado constitution concerning natural persons’ fundamental right to a healthy environment and, in connection therewith, defining “healthy environment” as safe and sustainable conditions for human life, including healthy air, water, land, and ecological systems; requiring state and local governments to assign the highest priority to protecting a healthy environment; allowing local governments to enact laws that are protective of a healthy environment; stating that such a local law governs over a state law that is less protective of a healthy environment; allowing natural persons and governmental entities to sue to enforce the fundamental right to a healthy environment; and awarding reasonable costs of litigation upon determination that a violation has occurred.

The language for proposed Initiative 75, Local government authority to regulate oil-and-gas development:”

An amendment to the Colorado constitution concerning local government regulation of oil and gas development and, in connection therewith, authorizing local governments to prohibit, limit, or impose moratoriums on oil and gas development; authorizing local laws and regulations that are more restrictive of oil and gas development and at least as protective of a community’s health, safety, welfare, and environment as state law; and prohibiting the state from preempting any local laws or regulations that prevent or mitigate local impacts from oil and gas development.

To check out other proposed ballot measures and their status, go to the Secretary of State’s website.

Proponents of the ballot measures have an Aug. 8 deadline to turn in 98,492 valid voter signatures, which is five percent of the total votes cast for all candidates for Secretary of State in the last general election.

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