Coloradans from across the political spectrum oppose Proposition 112, including both gubernatorial candidates, Republican Walker Stapleton and Democrat Jared Polis. Here are five things you should know about Proposition 112.

  1. Proposition 112 is a ballot measure that would require a 2,500-foot setback for new natural gas and oil wells. It is an extreme proposal that's actually aimed at eliminating development; not making it safer.

    Colorado law already requires wells to be set back at least 500 feet from homes and 1,000 feet from high-occupancy buildings, such as schools or hospitals. These existing regulations are some of the strictest in the nation.i The proposition would also modify and expand the definition of occupied structures and vulnerable areas that are subject to the setback requirement. Larry Wolk, the head of Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), has said that there is no "credible evidence" showing increased setbacks are any more protective of public health than the current setbacks.ii 

  2. Passage of the proposition would result in job loss. 

    As many as 147,800 jobs could be lost over the next 12 years.iii It is little understood that these job losses would be widespread throughout the economy. An estimated 77 percent of the jobs lost would be in health care, construction, hotel and food services, real estate and local government, including teachers; while the remaining 23 percent of the impacted jobs would be from the oil and gas sector.

  3. Passage would also severely reduce state and local tax revenues. 

    Colorado's economy is estimated to lose between $169 billion to $217 billion over 12 years, and during that same time, the reduction of Colorado state and local tax revenue would be between $7 billion and $9 billion. This revenue is critical for state and local governments, schools and special districts to pay for everything from new parks to police and fire departments to road improvements.iv State citizens and businesses would likely be asked to make up for this lost revenue by paying higher tax rates. 

  4. Development of natural gas and oil is highly regulated at all levels of government - federal, state, and local. 

    Federal laws such as the Clean Air Act, Safe Drinking Water Act, National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), Endangered Species Act (ESA) and the Occupational Safety and Health Act govern resource development. At the state level, the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) regulates development via mandatory groundwater monitoring programs, well inspections, and strict well structure rules as well as review and approval of permits, drilling locations, well integrity standards, wastewater management and disposal and air emission oversight. Additionally, oil and natural gas companies are required to work with local governments and nearby residents to address community concerns. Colorado has adopted 14 new rules in the last nine years, resulting in some of the toughest regulations in the country. 

  5. Colorado natural gas and oil production contributes to U.S. energy security. 

    A reliable, abundant and growing supply of domestic natural gas and oil reduces America's dependence on foreign countries to meet our growing energy needs, lessens the likelihood of supply disruptions and/or cost fluctuations due to geopolitical discord, and improves the U.S. balance of trade. Colorado ranks as the nation's fifth-largest natural gas producing state, and seventh-largest oil-production state. Thus, Colorado is an essential contributor to U.S. energy supply security. 

i. http://cogcc.state.co.us/documents/reg/rules/latest/600series.pdf
ii. https://www.coloradoindependent.com/2016/09/26/larry-wolk-fracking-health/
iii. http://commonsensepolicyroundtable.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/CSPR_Initiative97Report072718.pdf
iv. http://commonsensepolicyroundtable.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/CSPR_Initiative97Report072718.pdf