Colorado Capitol Report

Colorado Chamber Opposes Initiative 97, the 2,500-Foot Setback for New Oil-and-Gas Wells

Colorado Chamber Opposes Initiative 97, the 2,500-Foot Setback for New Oil-and-Gas Wells

The Board of Directors of the Colorado Chamber of Commerce has agreed to oppose Initiative 97, “Increased Setback Requirement for Oil and Natural Gas Development,” which has qualified for the November ballot.

The measure, which will be called Proposition 112 on the ballot, would amend state statutes, not the Colorado Constitution.  The ballot title and submission clause can be found on the Colorado Secretary of State’s Web site.

Colorado Chamber’s View

“Initiative 97 would be an economic catastrophe for Colorado,” said Loren Furman, CACI Senior Vice President, State and Federal Relations, “The effect that this initiative would have on job loss in our state is unfathomable, and it would drastically reduce the financial and natural resources that Coloradans rely on every day.”

“Initiative 97 would deprive state and local governments—including schools–of tens of millions of dollars in tax revenues,” said Chuck Berry, Colorado Chamber President, ”and it would likely turn at least five counties into economic train-wrecks.”

Berry and Furman urged CACI members and other businesses across the state to come together to fight Initiative 97 and financially support the effort to defeat the measure (see below).

Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission Analysis

report issued in July by the non-partisan Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission stated that the initiative would prevent 85 percent of non-Federal land in the state from being explored for oil-and gas production.  More than half of the land in the state would be off-limits to new energy development.  COGCC is charged by the legislature with balancing oil-and-gas production with protecting the environment, wildlife and public safety-and-health.

Here’s the COGCC report summary:

  • An estimated 54% of Colorado’s total land surface would be unavailable for new oil and gas development by adopting the buffer zone setbacks and federal land exemption proposed by initiative #97.  Of the non-federal land in Colorado, 85% would be inaccessible using these same criteria.
  • 78% of Weld County surface land (85% of non-federal land) would be off-limits to new oil and gas development.  In Colorado’s top five oil and gas producing counties combined, 61% of the surface acreage (94% of non-federal land) would be unavailable.
  • “Vulnerable areas” buffers, which initiative #97 defines to include a range of surface hydrologic features, would have a significantly larger impact than “occupied structure” buffers on making surface lands inaccessible to new oil and gas activity.

REMI Partnership Analysis

In addition, a report by the REMI Partnership found that Initiative 97 would cost the state 100,000 jobs by 2030 and harm the state’s economy.  The REMI Partnership includes the Common Sense Policy Roundtable, Colorado Concern, Colorado Bankers Association, Denver South Economic Development Partnership and Colorado Association of REALTORS.


The third and final draft of the section for Initiative 97, which will go into the legislature’s Bluebook, has been completed.  The Bluebook will be mailed to all registered voters later this month after the final version of the Bluebook passes muster with the Legislative Council.  The third draft analyzes the measure and includes arguments for and against the measure.  The pro-con arguments were submitted by proponents and opponents of the initiative.


The initiative’s advocate is Colorado Rising.  An issue committee, Colorado Rising for Health and Safety, had raised about $615,000 by September 4th.  (The Secretary of State’s Committee registration is #20185033525.)


The lead organization opposing the initiative is Protect Colorado, whose issue committee–Protecting Colorado’s Environment, Economy and Energy Independence–has been formed to fight such ballot measures as Initiative 97.  As of September 4th, it had raised about $21.1 million.  (Its Secretary of State identification number is #20145026709.)

More Information

For more information on Initiative 97, contact Loren Furman, CACI Senior Vice President, State and Federal Relations, at 303.866.9642.

For news media coverage and additional information, read:

Oil and gas industry pumping in millions to defeat Colorado well setback measure,” by Greg Avery, The Denver Business Journal, September 6th.

Initiative 97, Oil-and-Gas Well Setback Measure, Qualifies for November Ballot,” Colorado Capitol Report, September 4th.

House Bill 18-1128, Concerning Strengthening Protections for Consumer Data Privacy

House Bill 18-1128, Concerning Strengthening Protections for Consumer Data Privacy, went into effect on September 1st.  The Colorado Chamber lobbying team went to great lengths to work on this bill with a coalition of our members to make sure the bill addressed our members’ concerns that were raised when the bill was first introduced.

Given that identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in America, this legislation is an important step forward in protecting Colorado consumers. Per the new law, all persons, commercial entities, or governmental entities that maintain, own, or license personal identifying information (PII) of Colorado residents are required to report certain data breaches.

Should a covered entity experience a data breach that it reasonably believes to have affected 500 or more Colorado residents, it is required to provide notice of the breach to the Colorado Attorney General. This notice should be sent to the Consumer Protection Program Manager at [email protected].

When reporting a data breach to the Colorado Attorney General’s Office, please include the following information in the notice:

  • The name of the organization and a primary contact there who can be reached for further information;
  • The date the covered entity determined that a security breach had occurred;
  • The date that the covered entity provided notice to impacted Colorado residents;
  • The number of Colorado residents impacted by the breach; and
  • A copy of the notice provided to Colorado residents.

Please DO NOT provide the Attorney General with the PII that was breached.  If the office requires additional information, someone will reach out to the primary contact as described above to request that information.

Notice must be provided in the most expedient time possible, without unreasonable delay, and within 30 days after the date of determination that a security breach has occurred. Limited exceptions may apply.

For additional information on Colorado’s new data protection laws, including breach notification requirements, please visit the FAQ’s page.

Colorado’s 2018 Political Playoffs

Sponsorships now available for Colorado Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting Luncheon.  Click here for sponsorship opportunities.  Do not miss the opportunity to connect with business leader’s from across the state on Thursday, October 25th.

Polis (D) and Stapleton (R)

Attorney General
Brauchler (R) and Weiser (D)