Hickenlooper stands with industry, business groups against Polis’ initiatives

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Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper joins business and industry representatives last week in opposition to two local control ballot measures.

DENVER — One day after announcing that there won’t be a special legislative session to pass a compromise bill on the local control of oil and gas drilling, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper stood with more than 100 industry and business leaders Thursday in opposition to two local control ballot initiatives.

The press conference at the Lower Downtown offices of the Metro Denver Chamber of Commerce brought together a number of groups that supported Hickenlooper’s effort to reach a legislative compromise, including Colorado Concern and the state’s largest oil and gas operators, and those, like the American Petroleum Institute, that fought against it.

The compromise was an attempt to avoid an expensive and unpredictable campaign fight over the two ballot measures, which are being supported financially by Democratic Boulder Congressman Jared Polis.

Now that the compromise has failed, Hickenlooper, along with Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Udall and congressional candidate Andrew Romanoff, are joining the industry in opposition to the initiatives, which would quadruple setbacks and enshrine an environmental bill of rights in the state constitution.

“It’s clear these initiatives will kill jobs and damage our state’s economy. The oil and gas industry can operate safely, but it will be crippled if these measures pass,” said Hickenlooper, a former oil and gas geologist.

“These are radical ideas that have no place in our state constitution. We are committed to doing whatever it takes to defeat them.”

Polis has until Aug. 4 to gather the 86,000 signatures necessary to get each initiative on the November ballot.

Coloradans For Responsible Reform, the coalition of groups opposing the initiatives financed largely by API, is expected to spend some $50 million this fall to defeat the measures, a campaign that many Democrats fear will boost Republican turnout in what’s already a challenging election cycle.

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8 comments

  • GM Know (@GMKnowBoulder)

    Hickenlooper stands with oil and gas interests, never ceding to the idea that communities can ban fracking, and is willing to consign those directly affected by fracking to a lower standard of health, contaminated air, water and soil by trampling their constitutionally-protected inalienable rights, Colorado Constitution Article II Sections 1, 2 and 3.

    Sorry, but if a community feels threatened by industrial development, it’s their right to protect themselves. The State-backed oil and gas bullies don’t like it when people rebuff their offer communities cannot refuse: fracking.

    • Dick Peabody

      Sorry GM, but just because little ‘ol you “feels” threatened doesn’t make the threat real and it doesn’t give you the right to veto someone else’s property rights. There is absolutely NO evidence of ANY harm coming as a result of fracking and that is the testimony given to congress under oath by Obama EPA administrator Lisa Jackson.

      • Snarky Cosmos

        Frack away, we need all the domestic oil and gas we can get. Fracking lasts only a few days and then it’s done for that well. GM has fallen for the tree-huggers latest environmental cause du jour hook, line, and sinker. I’ll bet GM’s Prius pollutes more in one week than a fracked well site.

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