Fight Against Setback Initiative Unites Colorado Industry

The double-digit election victory against a half-mile setback initiative was not just a political victory over a determined opposition, but it served to unite Colorado’s oil and gas industry in a way not seen in many years, according to campaign leadership.

Proposition 112 was “designed to create a wedge dividing our industry. It did the opposite,” declared Chip Rimer, chairman of the Colorado Oil and Gas Association, at the group’s November annual meeting in Denver.

During the fall campaign, “we were unified and aligned across the state. We saw a passion and energy that our industry had not witnessed in a long time,” Rimer said.

That energy and enthusiasm must be sustained “if we are to protect our jobs and our state’s prosperity,” added Dan Haley, COGA president and CEO.

The defeat of the setback proposal, however appeared to energize the opposition groups backing the initiative. Buoyed by newly elected Democratic party majorities in both houses of the legislature and a new Democratic governor, a leader of Colorado Rising said legislation would be pushed in the next session granting local governments greater control over where and when development could take place. Another setback initiative on the 2020 ballot is also possible, the opposition leader said.

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