Co-Author: Paul Enockson
Last week, the Colorado Community Rights Network, an activist group that opposes hydraulic fracturing, filed a proposed ballot initiative to amend the Colorado Constitution to give municipalities extraordinarily broad authority to regulate for-profit businesses operating within their jurisdiction. The proposal grew out of anti-fracking activists’ frustration with current state law, which prohibits municipalities from displacing the state’s authority over the regulation of hydraulic fracturing. That issue is currently being litigated. See Colorado Oil and Gas Association Files Suit Against Fracking Bans. The newly proposed ballot initiative goes well beyond regulation of natural resource development, however, to include any and all activity by for-profit businesses. The Network’s decision to craft a broad proposal that does not expressly reference hydraulic fracturing may reflect a strategic decision to appeal to a broad swath of local control proponents since hydraulic fracturing enjoys the support of a majority of Colorado voters, according to a November 2013 Quinnipiac University poll.
More coverage available at: EnergyWire: Proposed Ballot Initiative Would Empower Cities to Ban Fracking — And Anything Else