Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Colorado energy measures expected to attract big names, deep pockets

A Goliath vs. Goliath battle is brewing in Colorado as environmental activists, big-oil bigwigs and community leaders are poised to pour millions of dollars into the state over energy-related measures that could be on the November ballot. More than a dozen initiatives hostile to and supportive of oil and gas drilling are making their way toward the ballot. Most focus on giving communities control over siting of drilling and requiring greater setbacks from homes and buildings. The recent legislative failure to broker a compromise has energized both giants. Should a special session of the legislature not materialize with a solution, Coloradans should expect a hugely vicious fight funded by tens of millions of dollars. Meanwhile, speculation is rampant over who might be funding the battle to limit fracking, a key step in oil and gas production where millions of gallons of water, sand and trace chemicals are injected down wells to fracture rock in order to release oil and gas. Will it be Yoko Ono, widow of Beatles legend John Lennon, who founded Artists Against Fracking? Or Tom Steyer, a San Francisco billionaire environmentalist? How much of his vast personal wealth will Boulder Congressman Jared Polis — who helped develop the language for nine of the measures — be willing to put in?...more

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