STATEMENTS on oil and gas industry removing measures from the ballot

DENVER — Today, Governor Jared Polis announced an agreement between environmental groups and the oil and gas industry to end the Colorado oil and gas ballot wars in 2020 and 2022. It results in industry removing a series of dangerous and overreaching measures from the ballot that would negatively impact action on climate change and protecting the health and safety of our communities. This announcement ensures that Colorado’s focus will now be on the regulatory process as the best place to implement Senate Bill 181 in order to create effective new rules that protect the health and safety of our communities as well as our land, water, wildlife, air and climate.

The Governor is supported in this effort by key environmental organizations in Colorado including Conservation Colorado, League of Oil and Gas Impacted Coloradans and Western Colorado Alliance. Leaders of these organizations released the following statements in response to the Governor’s announcement:

“We stand with Governor Polis and thank him for his success in brokering a deal to put an end to the continued ballot wars that drain our state of resources during a time of economic and public health crises. We will continue to focus our efforts on protecting Colorado’s environment and communities at the new professionalized Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission.”

  •  Kelly Nordini, Executive Director, Conservation Colorado

“Western Coloradans worked hard to pass SB 181 and have been present every step of the rulemaking process thus far. We agree with the Governor that we should see this process through and try to resolve these issues in front of the newly professionalized Commission before fighting them out at the ballot box. Either way, impacted residents want real solutions and are ready to work for them.”

  • Emily Hornback, Executive Director, Western Colorado Alliance

“The League of Oil and Gas Impacted Coloradans has spent years fighting to make sure that the very people living with the impacts of heavy, industrial oil and gas were and are at the forefront of SB 181 and rulemakings. With more than 50,000 active wells in the state, many of which are in our neighborhoods, oil and gas cannot be boiled down to a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ ballot initiative. We applaud the Governor for standing by the creation of a strong regulatory framework to protect Coloradans from the impacts of these facilities; processes that acknowledge and hold operators accountable for these impacts from the beginning; and that keeps oil and gas wells out of places they don’t belong.”

  • Sara Loflin, Executive Director, League of Oil and Gas Impacted Coloradans