Opponents might be sitting out this November’s election, but supporters of the oil and gas industry won’t, its advocacy organization told Colorado Politics on Thursday.
Protect Colorado said it is out collecting signatures on initiatives 284 to prevent government restrictions on using natural gas in new homes and 304 would allow those on either side of a ballot issue to submit an analysis of the costs to be made available to voters.
Colorado Rising, a group that has sought to restrict where and how the industry operates, told Colorado Politics last Friday that it was unlikely to marshal volunteers to collect the minimum 124,632 signatures from registered voters by Aug. 3 to qualify for the November ballot.
The industry drove the discussion of a truce. One backer of the deal told Colorado Politics they hoped it would lead to longer-term negotiations to avoid settling differences with expensive political campaigns.
Coronavirus restrictions have provided a high bar for candidates trying to make the ballot and for those trying to questions before voters statewide in November.
The Colorado Supreme Court still has not decided on constitutional merits of the May 15 executive order signed by Gov. Jared Polis, who sought to allow petitions submitted by email. State law requires petitions to be gathered in-person. Business groups across the state sued or supported the lawsuit, saying emergency powers don’t extend into elections.
“Protect Colorado is committed to ensuring consumer choice for energy and total cost transparency for all proposed ballot initiatives,” spokeswoman Laurie Cipriano said Thursday.
“The Consumer Choice measure on Natural Gas Restrictions, Initiative 284, prevents any special interest from removing your choice on what energy is used in homes and businesses for cooking, heating, and running critical equipment. If passed, local and state governments could not enact laws banning clean-burning, affordable, and reliable natural gas usage in new construction.”
Protect Colorado said Initiative 304, called the Fiscal Impact Statement Measure, “would provide voters with clear information about the total cost of any proposed ballot initiative. Total costs include the impact on employment (job losses or gains), Colorado’s GDP, tax revenues, as well as the initial price tag.”
“Colorado voters deserve to know the actual cost of a ballot measure on our economy, jobs and taxes before they are asked to vote on it,” Cipriano said.
Joe Salazar, the executive director of…