FAQs

Here are the most frequently asked questions about PROPOSITION #112

Proposition #112 is designed to put a buffer zone of 2,500 feet between new industrial oil and gas operations and your family, your neighbors, and your drinking water. If we have not answered your question, please contact us at unite@corising.org.

Questions About Jobs and the Economy:

HOW WILL PROPOSITION 112 AFFECT JOBS?
HOW DOES PROPOSITION 112 AFFECT THE ECONOMY?
HOW DO FRACKING OPERATIONS IMPACT FARMING IN COLORADO?
HOW WILL PROPOSITION 112 IMPACT SCHOOLS IN COLORADO?

Questions About What Proposition 112 Does:

IS PROPOSITION 112 A BAN ON FRACKING?

No, proposition 112 has been shown not to be a ban.  Even though the above-ground drill head might be 2500 feet away, the horizontal part of a drilled well often travels underground for up to and perhaps exceeding two miles.   In addition, Colorado has more than 50k existing oil and gas wells that this proposition does not affect. Proposition 112 only applies to new drilling and fracking.  Unfortunately, the setback rules we propose cannot include federal lands, which make up roughly 34% of Colorado.

WHAT IS THE FULL PROP 112 LANGUAGE THAT WILL APPEAR ON MY BALLOT?

“Shall there be a change to the Colorado Revised Statutes concerning a statewide minimum distance requirement for new oil and gas development, and, in connection therewith, changing existing distance requirements to require that any new oil and gas development be located at least 2,500 feet from any structure intended for human occupancy and any other area designated by the measure, the state, or a local government and authorizing the state or a local government to increase the minimum distance requirement?”

WHAT IS THE CURRENT SETBACK FROM NEW FRACKING OPERATIONS?

500 feet from homes and 1,000 feet from schools and hospitals. These distances are arbitrary, and numerous recent studies indicate that Colorado’s current setback from oil and gas development is simply “inadequate.”

WHY IS PROP 112’s BUFFER ZONE (OR SETBACK) SET AT 2,500 FEET?

2,500 feet, slightly less than ½ mile, is based on peer-reviewed health studies indicating that health impacts are greatest within a half mile of a “fracking” site.  

ABOUT HOW BIG IS 2,500 FEET?

2,500 feet is less than ½ mile or about 7 football fields. In the case of urban and suburban neighborhoods, buffer zones will overlap.  2,500 feet on the side of streams and rivers will prevent spills from running off into these freshwater sources.

WOULD IT BE BETTER TO HAVE A LARGER SETBACK DISTANCE THAN 2,500 FEET?

Yes.  Some studies indicate that a more appropriate minimum setback should be 1 mile, and the average evacuation distance for a well blowout is 0.8 miles.

WHY DOES PROP 112 INCLUDE WATERWAYS?

Potential drinking water sources are included in the setback, because there are risks to both groundwater and aquifers from “fracking” operations and injection wells.  There were 619 spills in Colorado in 2017 with at least 93,000 gallons of oil into the soil, groundwater and streams plus 506,000 gallons of produced water spilled, including direct flows into waterways.

HOW MUCH OF COLORADO WOULD A 2,500 FOOT SETBACK PROTECT?

It is difficult to give an exact percentage of total land that would be protected, but the greatest safety and health benefits would be felt in populated areas where setbacks would  prevent drilling near homes, schools, neighborhood playgrounds, and hospitals.  2500 foot setbacks would also prevent drilling too close to streams and rivers, which are important sources of safe drinking water. 

CAN’T LOCAL GOVERNMENTS PASS GREATER SETBACKS?

No, not under current court rulings.  Oil and gas is the only industry where local zoning rules do not apply, and a state agency is given total control.  The Legislature could change the law, but it has repeatedly failed to do so.

WHY AREN’T WE RUNNING A “LOCAL CONTROL” INITIATIVE?

In 2016 there were two initiatives: one was a 2,500 feet setback, the other would have given each local government the right to control “fracking” in their communities.  We still believe in local control, but it was harder for the public to understand, and setbacks/buffer zones had greater support. Even if a local control initiative passed statewide, it would only protect communities where elected officials are attuned to the issues around “fracking” or local activists have the money and organization to pass additional safeguards.

Questions About Health and Safety Impacts of Fracking:

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE SAFETY RISKS OF FRACKING NEAR NEIGHBORHOODS?

Frequent fires and explosions are examples of safety risks of fracking operations too close to neighborhoods:

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE HEALTH RISKS OF FRACKING NEAR NEIGHBORHOODS?

Here are some examples of serious health impacts of fracking operations near neighborhoods:

WHAT ARE THE IMPACTS OF FRACKING ON OUR AIR AND WATER QUALITY?

Here are some examples of how fracking has already compromised the safety of our air and water supplies:

DOESN’T COLORADO HAVE STRONG REGULATIONS TO PROTECT PEOPLE?

Miscellaneous Questions:

WHAT AMENDMENT NUMBER WILL CO RISING’S INITIATIVE BE ON THE NOVEMBER BALLOT?

Although we were designated initiative #97 during the signature collection phase of the campaign, a new number was assigned for the general election in November based on the order initiatives were certified for the ballot.  Proposition #112 is the number for our Safer Setbacks initiative that will appear on Colorado’s state-wide ballots on Election Day (Tuesday, Nov 6).

WHAT WERE THE REQUIREMENTS TO SIGN THE PETITION (DURING THAT PREVIOUS PHASE OF THE CAMPAIGN)?

Only people who are registered to vote in Colorado and who would be eligible to vote in the November 2018 election were able to sign the petition.  If you are not already registered or need to change your registration, you can do so online.  Students who are residents of Colorado may keep their hometown Colorado registration and vote by mail from college.  Students who register to vote and vote in a different state cannot also cast a ballot in Colorado.

DID AMENDMENT #71, PASSED IN 2016, LIMIT OUR ABILITY TO GATHER ENOUGH SIGNATURES?

Although the signature-gathering requirements passed in Amendment 71 were recently ruled unconstitutional, that was not the case when the initiative was submitted. Realizing how difficult it would be for a grassroots campaign, we pursued a statutory initiative instead of a constitutional one, so the #71 rules would not apply. 

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A STATUTORY VS CONSTITUTIONAL INITIATIVE?

A constitutional initiative/amendment changes the Colorado Constitution.  A statutory initiative/proposition changes the Colorado Statutes.

ARE THERE ANY RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH A STATUTORY VS CONSTITUTIONAL INITIATIVE?

Yes, because statutes can be re-written or amended by the legislature. We believe that elected officials would be reluctant to so egregiously reverse the will of the people right after passage.  Any change would require a majority in both the State Senate and State House, in addition to the signature of the Governor. Continued citizen vigilance is still a must.

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Fracking is harming much of what we all love about living in Colorado and why so many people like to visit – the fresh air, clean water, beautiful landscapes and a safe place to raise our families.