YES on 112 – Its Time to Put People and Communities at the Center of Public Decisions

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Yes on 112 for Safer Set-Backs

When two Coloradans were killed in their own home due to a leaky oil and gas flow-line that had been improperly severed and left unsealed, many thought it would be a game-changer in how this hazardous industrial activity would proceed in Colorado, especially in close proximity to people and communities.

But the quick defeat in the Colorado General Assembly of a law to begin addressing some of the problems with leaky flow-lines, and lack of oversight in the oil-and-gas-patch, laid to rest any notion that this body could exert the political will necessary to challenge the super-wealthy, seemingly all-powerful industry.

The state legislature, as usual, caved when an army of industry lobbyists, and piles of oil and gas contributions, spilled into the capitol. Oil and gas impacted Coloradans, and local communities facing massive plans to industrialize their neighborhoods, were forced, again, to watch their concerns ignored.

Despite nasty and undemocratic tactics paid for by industry to block this proposal from even getting in front of the Colorado sovereign for consideration (that would be We-the-People, if you consult your Constitution), the measure made the 2018 Colorado General Election ballot as Proposition 112. So now voters get to decide.

And despite tens of millions of dollars pouring in from out-of-state oil and gas corporations being spent on Proposition 112’s defeat, Colorado voters stand ready to pass it at the ballot. 

But that only happens, it remains worth saying, if more people VOTE YES for 112 than vote against it.

Proposition 112 has created a stir–certainly among the industry, but also among politicians who are swayed by the industry’s influence. Perhaps they believe the hyperbolic claims of doom being spread by the Proposition 112 opponents, or they see political risk in challenging such a powerful special interest group. Or maybe they just appreciate the oil and gas companies’ deep pockets.

But despite the angst expressed by many in the political class, Proposition 112 is a statutory change. The Colorado legislature has a chance to earn their keep again, even after voters pass it this November. The Colorado General Assembly can pass a better law when they are back in session if they see fit, one that goes even further in addressing the many, and growing, list of concerns being voiced by their constituents.

Proposition 112 takes meaningful steps to better protect human health and public safety. And importantly it takes a big step toward putting people and communities back in charge of the public decisions around this controversial, dangerous, and toxic activity.

Proposition 112 is also an opportunity for our elected leaders to lead again on this issue. The State Legislature can develop legislation that provides equal protections and that includes other needed reforms.

Reforms like an oil and gas regulatory body that seeks first and foremost in all its decisions to protect human health and the environment as its priority. Like meaningful bonding that ensures taxpayers are made whole in the event of future clean-up need or operator bankruptcy. Like fairer forced-pooling regulations.  And like severance fees that actually cover the cost for inspectors needed to ensure that this industry is abiding by its permits, regulations, and general social licence.

For now voters have Proposition 112 on the ballot. Passing it will put local communities and people back at the decision-making table in a way that we cannot simply be ignored. Not to be ignored again. Like we have been over and over.

Proposition 112 puts We-the-People at the decision-making Table

Proposition 112 gives people and communities leverage to ensure that policy-makers don’t keep looking the other way as massive fracking sites get built 1,000 feet from a school property line, or next to a town’s water supply.

Proposition 112 give Coloradans and local Colorado communities a stronger voice when going up against multi-billion dollar out-of-state, and even multinational, corporations.

Proposition 112 is already making industry see that we, the public, are serious about protecting Colorado and the public’s interest.

Imagine how much more they’ll notice once we enact it into law: Join me in marking your ballot YES for Proposition 112.

 

 

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