A review by the Denver Post of the defeat of Colorado’s controversial Proposition 112, the increased drilling setback, shows those counties with heavy oil and gas exploration helped kill the measure pushed by environmentalists. Weld County, right in the heart of the state’s most active drilling was 75 percent against it.

The proposition called for increasing the setbacks from homes, business and waterways to 2,500 feet. In studying  the voting results, the Post contended the environmentalists and local-control activists who supported the issue were “out-messaged by an industry with a large worker base.”

  • Not surprisingly, the measure did best in Democratic strongholds, exceeding 70 percent support in San Miguel, Pitkin and Boulder counties while garnering smaller — but still double-digit — margins in Denver and several resort-heavy counties in the central mountains.
  • That wasn’t enough, especially as most counties with heavy energy development voted no decisively. In the epicenter of drilling, nearly 75 percent of Weld County voters gave a thumbs-down. Counties with sizable drilling activity that did support Prop 112 included Boulder, Broomfield — where the measure was a hot political issue — and southwest Colorado’s La Plata, home of Durango.
  • Prop 112 met its match in key suburban counties that went big for Democratic Gov.-elect Jared Polis. The measure lost by more than 10 percentage points in Adams, which has drilling activity, as well as Jefferson and Arapahoe, which have little or none.