We wouldn’t want heavy industrial activities in our backyards and we think Colorado oil and gas operators need to do a better job of putting a buffer between their wells and residential areas.
However, that is not what Proposition 112 is about.
The proposition, put on the ballot by more than 120,000 concerned Coloradans who signed petitions, is written in such a way as to effectively ban oil and gas operations in a state with rich reserves waiting to be developed.
If voters were truly being asked to impose reasonable setbacks from houses, schools, and playgrounds, opposing 112 would have been a much more difficult decision for this editorial board. And voters probably wouldn’t be seeing opposition from candidates and politicians who have historically been advocates for more local control over oil and gas operations, like gubernatorial candidate Jared Polis.
But Proposition 112 requires that oil and gas operations be 2,500 feet from “occupied structures, water sources and areas designated as vulnerable.”