Proposition 112: Everything you need to know about the Colorado ballot question

A resident of a farm near where Crestone Peak Resources proposes to drill 28 wells from property covered by Boulder County conservation easements uses a campaign sign to urge people to vote against Proposition 112. (Dana Coffield, The Colorado Sun)

Proposition 112: Setbacks for oil and gas

Type: Change in state law. Simple majority required for passage.

At issue: Should oil and gas drill rigs have a 2,500-foot buffer from homes and natural features such as lakes and streams?

Concerns over explosions and pollution near neighborhoods, schools and water are driving this ballot measure, which is primarily aimed at fracking along the densely populated Front Range. The half-mile buffer proposed by this initiative is five-times the current 500-foot setback from homes. Schools and neighborhoods today have a 1,000-foot setback.

The ramifications: The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission estimates that the new buffer would block off 85 percent of the state’s non-federal land from oil and gas drilling, and that figure is only likely to grow as new subdivisions pop up to accommodate new residents. Existing drills would be exempt from the new rules, so don’t expect the industry to close up shop overnight. But eventually, industry analysts say, the measure is certain to cost the state tens of thousands of jobs. Don’t take our word for it — just look at what happened to oil and gas stocks after this made the ballot.

For more: Read the measure and ballot analysis.

— Brian Eason, Special to The Colorado Sun 

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