Dem rep gives $25K to Colorado fracking ballot measure

Dem rep gives $25K to Colorado fracking ballot measure
© Anne Wernikoff

Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) has given $25,000 to a group backing a ballot measure on local control over hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in his state. 

Polis donated to Yes for Local Control Over Oil and Gas last month, the Denver Business Journal reported on Tuesday. The group supports a ballot measure that, if approved by voters, would amend the state’s constitution to give local officials more control over fracking operations there. Fracking is a contentious practice of blasting subterranean rocks to break them open and extract oil or gas.

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The measure comes after the Colorado Supreme Court in May decided local fracking bans violate state laws regulating oil and gas drilling. 

The measure — and another setting buffer zones between drilling operations, homes and “areas of special concern” — will hit November’s ballot if supporters gather 98,492 signatures by Aug. 8, the Business Journal reports. 

Yes for Local Control Over Oil and Gas raised $55,100, according to the Business Journal; Polis and his father, Stephen Schutz, accounted for $50,000 of that total. 

An industry-funded group opposed to the ballot measure has raised $13.4 million to oppose it.  

Fights over fracking in Colorado have simmered for a long time. Voters there almost considered a ballot measure restricting the industry in 2014 before Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) pulled it from the ballot in exchange for establishing a task force to look at fracking safety.

Republican presidential nominee Donald TrumpDonald TrumpHarris stumps for McAuliffe in Virginia On The Money — Sussing out what Sinema wants Hillicon Valley — Presented by Xerox — The Facebook Oversight Board is not pleased MORE waded into the fight on Friday, saying he supports localities taking more control over fracking operations, including banning the practice. 

“I’m in favor of fracking, but I think that voters should have a big say in it,” Trump told a Denver television station Friday. “I mean, there’s some areas, maybe, they don’t want to have fracking. And I think if the voters are voting for it, that’s up to them.”