Fracking proposals withdrawn from contention for November ballot

DENVER - This November, you will not be able to vote on any fracking issues.

Organizers on both sides of the issue withdrew four petitions for Proposed Initiatives 88, 89, 121 and 137, Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler confirmed.

Proposed Initiatives 88 and 89 would have asked the public to vote on proposed regulations limiting the oil and gas industry. 88 would have limited where fracking wells could be built and 89 would have given local governments control over environmental regulations under an "environmental bill of rights."

Proposed Initiatives 121 and 137 were on the other side of the issue. 121 would have blocked any oil or gas revenue from any local government that limits or bans that industry while 137 would have required proponents of initiatives to submit fiscal impact estimates.

The abandonment of the four proposals comes one day after Gov. John Hickenlooper, Rep. Jared Polis and various other advocates and officials announced a compromise to take the fracking debate off the ballot. In exchange, Hickenlooper offered to create a task force to work on how to best continue oil and gas drilling while making it, "safe for our residents, supports jobs and the economy, respects private property rights and protects our health and environment."

The governor said the group will be tasked with trying to, "solve the complex issues around local control and land use in our state."

After the announcement that all four were withdrawn, Colorado Oil & Gas Association President and CEO Tisha Schuller released this statement:

"This is a victory for bipartisan common sense and common ground. I thank state Representatives Frank McNulty and Jerry Sonnenberg for their leadership and unwavering support.  Despite the great intent of initiative 121, their decision to pull the measure means initiatives 88 and 89 won't be on the ballot,  which could have put Colorado's economic future at risk.  We thank Representative McNulty and Representative Sonnenberg for their stalwart support of this vital industry."

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