The Colorado secretary of state has until Sept. 5 to certify initiatives submitted for November’s general election, including two with the potential to have a wide-ranging impact on Colorado’s energy sector.
Initiative 97 would increase the setback requirement for any new oil and gas development in the state to 2,500 feet from any occupied structure or other area designated by the government. And Initiative 108 seeks to mitigate property value lost as a result of mineral development limited by 97 by requiring just compensation to private property owners when a government law or regulation reduces the property’s fair market value.
According to a July report from the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, Initiative 97 would result in putting 54 percent of the state’s total land surface off limits to new oil and gas development. When considering non-federal land, the percentage increases to 84 percent.
Limiting a party’s ability to develop and extract minerals and profit from their own property rights would reduce the fair market value, and under 108, the property owner could claim compensation from the government.