Fracking initiatives advance after Colorado Supreme Court ruling

Photo: Fracking worker Mead, Colo. (AP Photo)Supporters of ballot measures to give more control to local governments over fracking will be able to gather signatures for all six of their proposed measures after rulings from the Colorado Supreme Court on Monday.

The state Supreme Court ruled that the ballot language of five proposals accurately reflects what the measure intend to do and isn't misleading, clearing the way for organizers to start collecting signatures. Another measure was approved by the justices earlier.

Industry groups opposed the ballot language, saying it's misleading.

The initiatives would mandate increased setbacks between drill rigs and occupied buildings, allow local governments to ban hydraulic fracturing and create an Environmental Bill of Rights. Several of the measures contain nearly identical language. Backers are still selecting which versions are most likely to appeal to voters and will proceed with those.

Organizers have until August 4 to turn in 86,105 valid signatures for each measure they seek to place on the November ballot.

Safe. Clean. Colorado, an issue committee supporting the measures, announced a six-figure online advertising campaign to try to sway voters.

This isn't the only effort trying to get an anti-fracking measure on the ballot in November. In May, a different group was cleared to gather signatures for an initiative that would empower local governments to "define or eliminate the rights and powers of corporations or business entities to prevent them from interfering with (local) fundamental rights." That would include banning oil and gas activity.

Gov. John Hickenlooper is trying to find a legislative compromise to hold off the initiatives.