The GSCRA has joined the coalition of businesses, chambers of commerce, not-profit organizations and labor unions that makes up Coloradans for Responsible Reform (CFRR). CFRR is currently educating voters that in 2014, Colorado is facing another serious threat to the state's economy. Nineteen ballot measures have been filed that attempt to ban oil and gas drilling in Colorado's five major energy-producing counties... even going so far as to try ban any business from operating within a community. The proposed measures all fall under one of three forms. Learn more at www.cfrr.com.
2,000-foot Oil and Gas setback requirement
Shall there be an amendment to the Colorado constitution concerning a statewide setback requirement for new oil and gas wells, and, in connection therewith, changing existing setback requirements to require any new oil or gas well to be located at least 2,000 feet from the nearest occupied structure; and authorizing a landowner to waive the setback requirement for any structure located on the owner's property?
Current Colorado regulations require oil and gas wells to be 500 feet from a home or occupied building. Outdoor activity areas, like playgrounds, must be at least 350 feet away. For schools, health-care institutions and other high-occupancy buildings, the wells must be at least 1,000 feet away. These requirements can be waived by the surface or building owner. If 88 passes, the only thing that will change is the length of the required setback. The option to waive the requirement will still be there.
According to a 2012 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report, the oil-and-gas industry in Colorado generated around $8.9 billion; opponents argue that this initiative would hamper production. Another possible problem is how the proposed setbacks might make it harder for mineral owners to develop the oil-and-gas resources on their property. In Colorado, surface land and underlying oil-and-gas resources can be owned by two different parties. If the surface owner doesn't waive the requirement, a mineral owner might take the matter to court.
Health concerns associated with contaminated drinking wells are a driving force for this initiative. Supporters of 88 say that expanding the setback helps respond to health and safety concerns that come with rapidly growing production. But protecting property values is also an upside: Drilling increases traffic and noise, and drill sites aren't exactly picturesque.
Local Government Regulation of Environment
Shall there be an amendment to the Colorado constitution concerning a public right to Colorado's environment, and, in connection therewith, declaring that Colorado's environment is the common property of all Coloradans; specifying that the environment includes clean air, pure water, and natural and scenic values and that state and local governments are trustees of this resource; requiring state and local governments to conserve the environment; and declaring that if state or local laws conflict the more restrictive law or regulation governs?
The goal of 89 is similar to that of Initiative 75: to give local communities the power to create their own laws regarding entities that operate within their borders. The difference is that 75 has language that focuses on giving communities the power to enact laws dealing with health, safety and well-being; 89 is specifically about protecting the environment, for the well-being of all Coloradans.
The proposal would add these words to the Colorado Constitution: "The people of the state of Colorado find and declare that Colorado's environment is the common property of all Coloradans." The initiative goes on to say that state and local governments shall conserve the clean air, pure water, and natural and scenic values for the benefit of all. The most controversial section is the third: "To facilitate the conservation of Colorado's environment, local governments have the power to enact laws, regulations, ordinances, and charter provisions that are more restrictive and protective of the environment than laws or regulations enacted or adopted by the state government." If there is conflict between state and local regulation, 89 proposes that the more protective regulation would govern.
The Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association was named 2013 Chamber of the Year by ACCE!