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Merchant writes: "In recent years, a number of communities in the state have passed local bans, but the state Supreme Court struck them down. Activists then decided to try to change the constitution to allow local fracking bans. So the oil and gas industry then decided to try to make changing the constitution more difficult."

Anti-Fracking protest. (photo: Joe Brusky)
Anti-Fracking protest. (photo: Joe Brusky)


Colorado Voters Just Made It a Lot Harder to Pass Fracking Bans

By Emma Foehringer Merchant, Grist

10 November 16

 

Colorado voters just made it a lot harder to pass fracking bans.

n recent years, a number of communities in the state have passed local bans, but the state Supreme Court struck them down. Activists then decided to try to change the constitution to allow local fracking bans. So the oil and gas industry then decided to try to make changing the constitution more difficult.

And that brings us to Amendment 71, which the oil and gas industry pushed onto the ballot and which about 57 percent of voters approved. It sounds benign: It requires any proposed ballot measure that would amend the state constitution to get a certain number of signatures from each of Colorado’s Senate districts, and to ultimately get 55 percent of the vote, rather than the previously required 50 percent.

The oil and gas industry insists the amendment is an attempt to ensure only initiatives that are “constitutional-worthy” gain consideration by voters. But anti-fracking activists say it’s a just a way to make citizen campaigns less likely to succeed.

Campaigners still hope to run another ballot measure to legalize local fracking bans in 2018, but after Tuesday’s vote, that will be trickier than ever.

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+5 # Diane_Wilkinson_Trefethen_aka_tref 2016-11-10 10:42
A constitution is a set of fundamental principles or established precedents according to which a state or other organization is governed. It is not and should not reflect the political issue du jour.

While I abhor fracking and its poisonous results, a state constitution is NOT the place to either ban it or encourage it. That is the proper duty of the state legislature through passing laws or if a legislature is unresponsive, then the responsibility for passing laws on fracking rests with the people through a referendum. If Colorado does not have a referendum process for ordinary law and the citizens wish to have that power, THAT is the constitutional initiative they should work to pass.
 
 
+2 # anarchaos 2016-11-10 12:09
tref you are correct that; "the responsibility for passing laws on fracking rests with the people through a referendum." And that is exactly what (likely low-info) voters voted away by voting YES on # 71. Colorado had a petition-initia ted referendum process in place to allow a truly people created, aka: grassroots democracy, ballot initiative to be voted on in any upcoming election. That is now vastly more complicated & expensive to do now. The lies that were told by both the Gov., the Mayor, and other (D's) and not a few (R's) and, of course, the Oil, Gas & Fracking corporations that "we must 'Raise the Bar' to 'protect the Constitution'"! Not explained was exactly how making it virtually impossible to initiate a petition-fueled referendum 'protects the Constitution'!! Impossible, that is, unless you have very deep pockets. Colorado voted away its truly unique and democratic referendum process. So now it will be extremely difficult to fulfill what your last paragraph declares, and what Colorado JUST voted away. Really fucking sad.
 
 
0 # anarchaos 2016-11-10 12:15
per my last sentence; -it should read- .......difficul t to fulfill what your last SENTENCE declares, and what Co......etc
 

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