COLORADO (AP) – Colorado voters have rejected a proposal that would have tightly restricted where new oil and gas wells could be drilled statewide.
Proposition 112 would have required that new wells be at least 2,500 feet from occupied buildings and “vulnerable areas” such as parks, creeks and irrigation canals. It also would have allowed local governments to require even bigger buffer zones.
Groups backed by the energy industry pointed to a state analysis that determined the measure would make 85 percent of non-federal land in Colorado off-limits to drilling.
The state currently requires wells be 500 feet from homes and 1,000 feet from schools.
Proposition 112 – Setback Requirement for Oil and Gas Development
Supporters argued that increasing the setback distance will protect property owners, protect water and improve the overall health of Coloradans. They also said it will help property owners protect their property values by forcing oil and natural gas developments farther away from their homes.
Opponents said 112 would have eliminated many of the opportunities for oil and natural gas companies to drill in Colorado, causing damage to the economy. Opponents also argued that the current setback rule is strict enough and that no new regulations are needed to protect public safety.