Letter: Prop. 112 product of industry inaction
October 23, 2018
The oil and gas industry has only itself to blame for Ballot Initiative (Proposition) 112 that allows a 2,500-foot setback between homes and O&G drilling and fracking.
For decades, the O&G industry has refused to acknowledge citizens and local governments' pleas for 1,000- to 1,500-foot setbacks to lessen impacts on health, safety, and quality of life. Had industry been a good neighbor, there would be no need for Prop. 112.
Since 1997, Grand Valley Citizens Alliance members have worked on lengthening setbacks when multiple drilling pads were only 150 feet from homes, the height of an O&G rig with a few feet to spare.
Now, over 20 years later, the setback is only 500 feet from subdivisions, playgrounds, and public areas with variances that allow multiple well pads and chemical storage tanks even closer. For instance in Battlement Mesa, residents live with 300 wells around and within their neighborhoods and schools. When is enough, enough?
It's time to tell the O&G industry to work with local governments and citizens on reasonable setbacks by voting yes for Prop. 112.
GarCo officials have incorrectly claimed that #112 will impact programs and services. #112 does not affect wells already in production that account for current and future county taxes. Drilling on federal land will not be impacted either.
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Prop. 112 will be a state statute, meaning the legislature, the courts, and O&G lobbyists will be able to add future definitions to this regulation.
Unfortunately, our local county officials have not warned constituents of the impacts of Amendment 74 on your ballot, a law that would change our state constitution forever. It's Amendment 74 that could demolish the financial stability of our county, local governments — and us taxpayers — for years to come.
Amendment 74 allows businesses and property owners to sue governments — that's you — for all planning and zoning decisions. It could allow O&G to drill as close as 150 feet again. No doubt, Amendment 74 could bankrupt county and local government and nonprofit programs in order to pay for these lawsuits. Protect your pocketbook, vote no on Amendment 74.
Chair, Grand Valley Citizens Alliance
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