Extremely well-organized ‘keep it in the ground’ groups tell like-minded voters exactly what to do to get initiative 97 on the ballot, what to say at the COGCC hearing 

“We’re calling on the COGCC to prioritize public health and safety over profit – and to get on the right side of history” – 350 Colorado campaign promoting initiative 97

Campaign messages single out Extraction, Anadarko

Colorado ballot initiative #97 is in the final three weeks of signature-collection. Proponents of a 2,500-foot drilling and development setback are seeking to gather 145,000 voter signatures in favor of placing the question on the ballot, in order to yield the 98,492 valid signatures needed for inclusion on the November ballot. The deadline to turn in signatures is August 6, 2018. The Colorado Secretary of State will put petitions through a verification process after the petitions are turned in Aug. 6.

Initiative #97 proposes changing the Colorado Revised Statutes, as opposed to the 2016 initiative that aimed to modify the state constitution, but which failed to obtain the amount of validated signatures required by the Secretary of State.

As the Aug. 6 deadline nears, numerous climate justice groups are working overtime on email and social media to recruit more citizens to pick up the mantle, sign the petition and oppose oil and gas development in Colorado.

350.org and Colorado Rising are two of the groups behind the initiative. They have mounted an impressive and organized citizen action campaign that gives voters numerous choices regarding paths of action they can choose to help the anti-oil and gas groups obtain enough attention and valid voter signatures to land initiative 97 on the 2018 ballot. The social media and email campaigns pitch a mutual concern for health and safety as the reason to sign the petition or go to work for the cause.

What the initiative would do

Initiative 97 is an initiative that would effectively stop most new drilling and development in the more densely populated areas of Colorado, including the Wattenberg field, by removing a huge percentage of surface area from drilling and development. The initiative would designate 2500-foot buffer zones around “occupied structures” and “vulnerable areas.”

The ballot title for Initiative #97 reads as follows:

“Shall there be a change to the Colorado Revised Statutes concerning a statewide minimum distance requirement for new oil and gas development, and, in connection therewith, changing existing distance requirements to require that any new oil and gas development be located at least 2,500 feet from any structure intended for human occupancy and any other area designated by the measure, the state, or a local government and authorizing the state or a local government to increase the minimum distance requirement?”

Here is how the proposed revised statute reads:

Be it Enacted by the People of the State of Colorado:

SECTION 1. In Colorado Revised Statutes, add 34-60-131 as follows:

34-60-131. Mitigation of adverse oil and gas impacts to health and safety — buffer zones — legislative declaration – definitions.

(1) THE PEOPLE Of THE STATE Of COLORADO FiND AND DECLARE THAT:

(a) PROxIMITY TO OIL AND GAS DEVELOPMENT, INCLUDING THE USE Of HYDRAULIC FRACTURING, HAS DETRIMENTAL IMPACTS ON PUBLIC HEALTH, SAFETY, WELfARE, AND THE ENVIRONMENT;

(b) SUCH IMPACTS ARE REDUCED BY LOCATING OIL AND GAS OPERATIONS AWAY FROM OCCUPIED STRUCTURES AND VULNERABLE AREAS; AND

(c) To PRESERVE PUBLIC HEALTH, SAFETY, WELFARE, AND THE ENVIRONMENT, THE PEOPLE DESIRE TO ESTABLISH A BUFFER ZONE REQUIRING ALL NEW OIL AND GAS DEVELOPMENT IN THE STATE OF COLORADO TO BE LOCATED AN INCREASED DISTANCE AWAY FROM OCCUPIED STRUCTURES, INCLUDING HOMES, SCHOOLS AND HOSPITALS, AS WELL AS VULNERABLE AREAS.

 

(2) AS USED IN THIS SECTION, UNLESS THE CONTEXT OTHERWISE REQUIRES:

(a) “OCCUPIED STRUCTURE” MEANS ANY BUILDING OR STRUCTURE THAT REQUIRES A CERTIFICATE OF OCCUPANCY OR BUILDING OR STRUCTURE INTENDED FOR HUMAN OCCUPANCY, INCLUDING HOMES, SCHOOLS, AND HOSPITALS.

(b) “OIL AND GAS DEVELOPMENT” MEANS EXPLORATION FOR, AND DRILLING, PRODUCTION, AND PROCESSING OF, OIL, GAS, OR OTHER GASEOUS AND LIQUID HYDROCARBONS, AND FLOWL1NES AND THE TREATMENT OF WASTE ASSOCIATED WITH SUCH EXPLORATION, DRILLING, PRODUCTION AND PROCESSING. “OIL AND GAS DEVELOPMENT” INCLUDES HYDRAULIC FRACTURING.

(c) “VULNERABLE AREAS” MEANS PLAYGROUNDS, PERMANENT SPORTS FIELDS, AMPHITHEATERS, PUBLIC PARKS, PUBLIC OPEN SPACE, PUBLIC AND COMMUNITY DRINKiNG WATER SOURCES, IRRIGATION CANALS, RESERVOIRS, LAKES, RIVERS, PERENNIAL OR INTERMITTENT STREAMS, AND CREEKS, AND ANY ADDITIONAL VULNERABLE AREAS DESIGNATED BY THE STATE OR A LOCAL GOVERNMENT.

(d) “LOCAL GOVERNMENT” MEANS ANY STATUTORY OR HOME RULE COUNTY, CITY AND COUNTY, CITY, OR TOWN LOCATED IN THE STATE OF COLORADO.

 

(3) THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF COLORADO HEREBY ESTABLISH THAT ALL NEW OIL AND GAS DEVELOPMENT NOT ON FEDERAL LAND MUST BE LOCATED AT LEAST TWO THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED FEET FROM AN OCCUPIED STRUCTURE OR VULNERABLE AREA. FOR PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION, THE REENTRY OF AN OIL OR GAS WELL PREVIOUSLY PLUGGED OR ABANDONED IS CONSIDERED NEW OIL AND GAS DEVELOPMENT.

(4) THE STATE OR A LOCAL GOVERNMENT MAY REQUIRE THAT NEW OIL AND GAS DEVELOPMENT BE LOCATED A LARGER DISTANCE AWAY FROM OCCUPIED STRUCTURES OR VULNERABLE AREAS THAN REQUIRED BY SUBSECTION (3) OF THIS SECTION. IN THE EVENT THAT TWO OR MORE LOCAL GOVERNMENTS WITH JURISDICTION OVER THE SAME GEOGRAPHIC AREA ESTABLISH DIFFERENT BUFFER ZONE DISTANCES, THE LARGER BUFFER ZONE GOVERNS.

(5) THIS SECTION TAKES EFFECT UPON OFFICIAL DECLARATION OF THE GOVERNOR AND IS SELF-EXECUTING.

(6) THIS SECTION APPLIES TO OIL AND GAS DEVELOPMENT PERMITTED ON OR AFTER THE EFFECTIVE DATE.

“Our supporters are in the community collecting signatures,” according to Colorado Rising.

The groups have until August 6th to collect approximately 100,000 valid voter signatures in order to qualify the initiative to be placed for the November 2018 ballot. Most sources believe the number will have to be closer to 120,000-140,000 to yield the 98,492 valid signatures required by the secretary of state.

If the groups’ soft-participation tactics are successful it could spell big changes for Colorado’s economic future.

The COGCC, Colorado’s oil and gas regulator, has released acreage-reduction calculations based on a successful initiative 97, saying that of the seven million acres of non-federal land in Colorado’s top oil and gas producing counties, proposed initiative #97 would exclude 6.5 million acres from drilling and development.

Anti-oil and gas grassroots campaigns offer many levels of participation to voters

The email campaign by 350 Colorado gives recipients choices from publicly commenting at the COGCC meeting, to automatically sending letters, signing a petition, joining protests at the Capitol rally, or by quietly making a donation to help fund the group’s campaign to land initiative #97 on the ballot. The organizers provide a ‘tool kit’ that tells new participants exactly what to do and say.

The campaign’s recent email outlines the goals and tactics:

“Please join us in Denver on Monday, July 30th to tell the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) that it is time to get on the right side of history. We want leaders who will do more than cater to the oil and gas industry! Learn more and RSVP here,” today’s email reads.

Messaging

“While the COGCC is charged with the responsible development of Colorado’s oil and gas in a manner consistent with protection of public health, safety and welfare, the COGCC continues to allow drilling less than 1,000 feet from school playgrounds and has never to date refused a permit for drilling in the state of Colorado.

“The COGCC’s failure to protect the public is why we so badly need the Colorado Rising statewide ballot initiative for 2,500′ fracking safety setbacks, which aligns with health studies showing increased cancer, low birth weights, birth defects, respiratory distress and other serious health effects within a half-mile.

“We’re calling on the COGCC to prioritize public health and safety over profit – and to get on the right side of history. It’s time to keep fossil fuels in the ground and to move towards a just transition to a clean, renewable energy economy.

“Please join us to give your 3-minute public testimony at the COGCC hearing on July 30th. Your voice is needed! Sign-ups for public comment begin the week before the hearing. You can RSVP and find out more here

“Planning to join? Please invite others and check out our Outreach Toolkit and Talking Points here.

“Can’t attend but still want to take action? Please send a letter to protect Colorado communities from fracking.

“Also, sign the petition to enact a 2500′ safety zone between oil and gas operations and homes and schools. You can find a place to sign before August 1st here.”

July 30th COGCC Hearing Outreach Toolkit & Talking Points

 

Quick links

 

  • Action form – please share with your networks and encourage them to sign: Send a letter to protect Colorado communities from fracking.

 

  • Fracking safety setback petition – Sign the petition to enact fracking safety setbacks this month! In order to get on the ballet, we need 145,000 signatures by month’s end. Find a place to sign and learn more here: https://corising.org/

 

  • Public Comment – Sign up for COGCC hearing public comment between Wednesday, July 25th and noon, Friday July 29th: (Link to sign up will be on COGCC homepage beginning 7/25-7/29: https://cogcc.state.co.us/#/home)

 

Logistics/Event Info

What: July Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission Public Hearing July 30th, 9-11am

 

Where: COGCC Offices: The Chancery Building 1120 Lincoln Street, Suite 801 Denver, Colorado 80203

 

Why: Tell the COGCC that they must stop enabling the industry’s abuses

 

Offering Public Comment: Public comments will be first come first serve based on sign up time and priority will be given at the hearing to those who have registered online (registration will open Wed. 7/25 and close by noon 7/29)  Visit the COGCC Website Here (*The COGCC has changed the rules for public comment, please view them here)

 

Other Ways to Contact COGCC with Feedback: You can also email comments to [email protected] if you are unable to attend in person.

Outreach Materials

Sample Email to Share with Community/Members

Subject Line: WE NEED YOUR HELP: Tell the COGCC to Stop Proposed Oil and Gas Permits! Your Voice is Needed in Denver on July 30th

Hello Friend,

Please join us in Denver on Monday, July 30th to tell the Colorado Oil and Gas Commission (COGCC) that it is time to get on the right side of history. We want leaders who will do more than cater to the oil and gas industry!

While the COGCC is charged with the responsible development of Colorado’s oil and gas in a manner consistent with protection of public health, safety and welfare, the COGCC continues to allow drilling less than 1000 feet from schools and has never to date refused a permit for drilling in the state of Colorado.

The COGCC’s failure to protect the public is why we so badly need the Colorado Rising statewide ballot initiative for 2,500’ fracking safety setbacks, which aligns with health studies showing increased cancer, low birth weights, birth defects, respiratory distress and other serious health effects for those in close proximity to oil and gas operations.

We’re calling on the COGCC to prioritize public health and safety over profit – and to get on the right side of history. It’s time to keep fossil fuels in the ground and to move towards a just transition to a clean, renewable energy economy.

Please join us to give your 3-minute public testimony at the COGCC hearing on July 30th. Your voice is needed! Sign-ups for public comment begin the week before the hearing. You can RSVP and find out more here.

Colorado 2,500-Foot Setback Initiative 97 Enters the Stretch, Proponents Accelerate Strong Grassroots Campaign

From Colorado Rising tool kit for anti-oil and gas activists

Can’t attend but still want to take action? Please send a letter to protect Colorado communities from fracking.

Also, sign the petition to enact a 2500’ safety zone between oil and gas operations and homes and schools. You can find a place to sign before August 1st here: https://corising.org

Sample Social Media Posts

*Include links to Colorado Rising and a call to sign the petition as well if you haven’t yet: https://corising.org/

Facebook:

The oil and gas industry is out of control! We need your voice in Denver on July 30th to let the COGCC know that it is time to prioritize the protection of our children, our public health and our safety! Can you join us? https://www.facebook.com/events/1121722194632164/permalink/1122671457870571/

#COGCC #Fracking #climatechange #climateactionnow #ColoradoRising

Tell the COGCC it’s time to put our public health and our safety first!

https://www.facebook.com/events/1121722194632164/permalink/1122671457870571/

#COGCC #Fracking #climatechange #climateactionnow #pushbackthefrack2018

Stand up against dangerous fracking projects in your community. Join us at the COGCC hearing at 9 am in Denver as we stand up for our communities, our neighborhoods, and our health, safety and climate. https://www.facebook.com/events/1121722194632164/permalink/1122671457870571/

#COGCC #StoptheFrackAttack #Fracking #climatechange #climateactionnow #pushbackthefrack2018

Twitter:

It is time for #Colorado to put #people over the interests of #oil and #gas. #Publichealth and #safety are always first and never second. Stand with us on July 30th to protest at the COGCC. https://www.facebook.com/events/1121722194632164/permalink/1122671457870571/

When we #StandTogether on fracking, our voices are one to be reckoned with. Join us at the #COGCC hearing on July 30th! https://www.facebook.com/events/1121722194632164/permalink/1122671457870571/

Join us at the #COGCC hearing on July 30th to stand up for our #publichealth and #safety. RSVP Here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1121722194632164/permalink/1122671457870571/

Talking Points

What We’re Calling For

  1. Call for emergency moratorium on oil and gas operations and permitting – until the COGCC is properly funded and demonstrates they are able and willing to protect public health and safety.
  2. Demand that the COGCC drop appeal of the Martinez decision that they must protect public health and safety as a precondition to permitting oil and gas fracking in our communities.
  3. Point out that their failure to protect the public is why we so badly need the Colorado Rising statewide ballot initiative for 2,500’ buffer zones – which aligns with health studies showing increased cancer, low birth weights, birth defects, respiratory distress and other serious health effects within a half-mile. Encourage anyone who may be watching online to sign the ballot initiative this month at corising.org.

Talking Points for Testimonies

General Tips:

  • Talk about the kinds of changes we want to see. Reference upcoming elections and what you want from incoming leaders.
  • Talk about what concerns you personally. How is your community impacted?
  • Connect comments to public health, safety, air quality and climate change.
  • Our goal is not to change the minds of the COGCC, but to raise awareness and influence future reform.
  1. Elections/Call for Change, Reform & a Clean Energy Future
    1. We want leaders who will do more than cater to the oil and gas industry.
    2. We want people, communities, public health & safety prioritized.
    3. We want our incoming leaders to reform the COGCC. We call on the new governor and attorney general to do more to protect Colorado communities’ public health and safety.
    4. We call on our incoming leaders to get on the right side of history as it relates to climate change! It is time to get our heads out of the sand and move to keep fossil fuels in the ground and protect our climate and future generations.
    5. We support and advocate for a just transition to a clean and renewable energy future.
    6. We want to create new jobs that will contribute to a cleaner energy future.
    7. Jobs grew by 6% in solar and slumped 18% in oil, coal, gas since 2012 (Bloomberg)
    8. We support the People’s Climate Justice Platform and encourage our incoming leaders to do so as well.
    9. What are you, the COGCC commissioners, doing that is forward thinking? Nothing. We want to move beyond the status quo. We want change.
    10. We encourage everyone to support the 2500 foot fracking safety setback ballot initiative. Because you, the COGCC, are failing to protect our health and safety, we have to take it in our own hands to protect ourselves.

 

  1. Oil and gas companies are not for the people: Call out the oil companies (such as Extraction and Anadarko) and their accidents, poor practices
    1. After multiple deadly explosions, fires and leaks, the COGCC is still issuing oil and gas permits by our homes and schools.
    2. Extraction Oil and Gas has started operations to drill a few hundred feet from the Bella Romero Academy in Greeley, a 4th-8th grade school. This is unacceptable and unsafe.
    3. The oil and gas industry is out of control.
    4. Extraction is a bad player financially, for communities, for families and for the environment.
    5. We ask the COGCC to stop permits until Extraction proves they can be a beneficial part of Colorado.

 

  1. Call for Prioritized Protection of Public Health & Safety: Reference children, air quality/wildfires, etc.
    1. While the COGCC is charged with the responsible development of Colorado’s oil and gas in a manner consistent with protection of public health, safety and welfare, the COGCC continues to allow drilling less than 1000 feet from schools.
    2. Children are at the highest risk of severe health impacts from exposure to oil and gas operations, including the adverse health effects of chemicals such as benzene which are a byproduct of oil and gas operations.
    3. We are concerned about climate change and its effects here in Colorado.
    4. Wildfires are rampant and deadly and the increase in wildfires is linked to climate change.
    5. Wildfires are causing many people to suffer from poor air quality.

Graphics/Photos for Outreach

Check this Folder for Pictures You can Share on Social Media

 

 


Legal Notice