Two ballot petitions, including one to protect natural gas as a consumer choice for new or remodeled homes and businesses in Colorado appear to be way ahead of schedule. Both are pushed by Protect Colorado, an energy-friendly organization.
Initiative 284 would protect natural gas as a consumer choice for new or remodeled homes and businesses in Colorado. Initiative 304 would provide more information to voters about the cost of future ballot initiatives.
Each has about 140,000 signatures so far, well ahead of the Aug. 3 deadline to qualify for the ballot, according to Colorado Politics. The state requires 124,632 valid signatures from registered Colorado voters, representing 5% of the votes cast in the 2018 election for secretary of state.
Those who seek to get on the ballot have to collect an excess of signatures, however, to account for those that can’t be verified or duplicates disqualified by the state.
Protect Colorado, the energy-friendly coalition behind the measures, said Wednesday that if Initiative 284 doesn’t pass, Coloradans could see natural gas eliminated as an option when they buy or remodel a home. Bans on natural gas have proliferated among cities across the country, especially California.
“Colorado consumers deserve to choose the best source of energy for their homes and families, whether it’s electric, alternative forms of energy, or natural gas,” spokesperson Laurie Cipriano said. “Natural gas is affordable, reliable and its use helps drive CO2 emission reduction. Restricting or banning its use would make housing unaffordable for many Colorado families, especially during financial challenges many are facing due to the economic downturn caused by COVID-19.”
She said about 75% of Coloradans currently use natural gas as their primary source of energy to power their homes and appliances
Initiative 304 is a fiscal impact statement that would allow voters to understand the true and total cost of a ballot initiative, including losses or gains in jobs, economic impact and taxes, Cipriano said.
“Its purpose is to provide voters with clear information about the total cost of any proposed ballot initiative,” she said.
Currently, the only economic impact provided to Colorado voters by the state is the direct impact a measure would have on the state budget. That information is given to voters through the Blue Book.
This proposal would allow a study verified by the state economist to be placed in the ballot language, available as voters fill out their ballots.