Proposition 112, Increased Setbacks For Oil And Gas Development Explained

October 15, 2018

Proposition 112 would require any new oil and gas development not on federal land to be set back at least 2,500 feet from homes and "vulnerable areas" like playgrounds, lakes and rivers. 

Current state regulations prohibit oil and gas facilities from being closer than 500 feet from homes and 1,000 feet from schools, health care centers, and other high-occupancy buildings.

Oil production has doubled in the state since 2013, and as of 2017 the state had 54,000 producing wells. Natural gas production has been stable for the last decade. But an increase in population along the northern Front Range means more people are living near oil and gas facilities.

Proponents for the measure say it will reduce health and nuisance impacts — headaches, nausea, traffic, dust, for example — of drilling sites. They say it will give property owners greater certainty about the location of new oil and gas sites close to their property.

Opponents say the measure would eliminate new oil and gas activity on most non-federal land in the state and would cost the state jobs. They say the industry generated $10.9 billion in production value in 2017, and supported many other industries and jobs. State and local governments would also receive less in tax revenue if the measure were to pass, they say.

The measure is statutory, meaning it needs a simple majority to pass.

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