If voters in Colorado approve Proposition 112, the increased drilling setback from homes, businesses and schools, Gov. John Hickenlooper is talking of a special legislative session.
There continue to be claims that up to 80% of the state would be off limits to oil and gas drilling. The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission says the issue would result in a ban on fracking and drilling in most parts of the state.
Proposition 112 would require a half-mile buffer between new oil and gas drilling and homes, businesses and what government deems “vulnerable.”and homes, schools or any area government deems “vulnerable.”
Gov. Hickenlooper will have 30 days after Election Day to make the call for the special legislative session. He indicated recently he has already reached out to stakeholders and plans to sit down with them before calling for the special session.
“These iniatives are often bare bones,” Hickenlooper said. “They don’t go on 40 pages of what happens in this case or that case. You want to minimize the unintended collateral damage.”
“This is a big part of state’s economy. You’re talking 15 percent, some people say as much as 20 percent, of the state’s economy. And suddenly it goes to half? That is how you spell recession. And I think everybody needs to take a long, slow look and say ‘Alright, how do we go forward?’ — if it passes — ‘How do we get to what was intended?’”
The Republican running to replace Hickenlooper, Walker Stapleton has said he would support a special session. But the Democratic candidate, Jared Polis said he would not.
If 112 passes and the Governor calls a special session, there’s no guarantee lawmakers will delay implementation of the measure. The Democratic majority leader in the House, Representative KC Becker out of Boulder, has come out in support of 112.
Ann Lee Foster with Colorado Rising, the group supporting Proposition 112, says the Governor has not reached out to them, “To say that he will undermine the will of the voters, on behalf of special interests, all while using dramatically inflated economic stats, is a violation of the democratic process and a clear statement that Hickenlooper does not have the best interest of Coloradans in mind.”