Frack wars: The empire strikes back — in force
This year, fueled by a gusher of advertising and buoyed by Loveland voters’ June 24 rejection of a two-year moratorium on fracking, the oil and gas industry is mounting a counteroffensive and is launching its own ballot initiatives.
Two issues aimed at curbing attempts to restrict oil and natural gas development have garnered more than half the signatures required to appear on the Nov. 4 ballot, according to a group formed to support energy development.
As of July 8, Initiative 121 has more than 55,000 signatures, while Initiative 137 has more than 59,800 signatures, according to Protecting Colorado’s Environment, Economy and Energy Independence. Funded by oil and gas companies, the political issue committee is behind efforts to gather the signatures.
Anadarko Petroleum Corp. (NYSE: APC) and Noble Energy Inc. (NYSE: NBL), the two largest producers in Northern Colorado, and other oil companies formed the committee to support and oppose various ballot initiatives that affect the industry.
Initiative 121, spearheaded by Rep. Jerry Sonnenberg, R-Sterling, would bar cities and towns that have banned hydraulic fracturing from receiving tax revenue generated by oil and gas development elsewhere in the state.
Initiative 137 would require a petition circulated for signatures to mention an initiative’s estimated fiscal impact. Proponents of an initiative would have to prepare the fiscal impact estimate, which would be subject to review by the state Legislative Council.
The initiatives must attain 86,105 signatures by Aug. 4 to appear on the ballot. Activists have submitted competing ballot initiatives to restrict hydraulic fracturing.
Here come the ads – to a TV, radio and mailbox near you.
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