|Colo. ballot measure seeks to ban oil, gas payments for communities that ban fracking|
|Written by Marianne Goodland|
Two Republican legislators filed a ballot measure with the Colorado Secretary of State’s office last week to ask voters to shift severance tax dollars from communities that ban hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, to those that allow it.
Rep. Jerry Sonnenberg (R-Sterling) and Rep. Frank McNulty (R-Highlands Ranch) are the authors of a ballot measure that would in effect ban oil and gas tax payments to Boulder, Fort Collins, Lafayette and Broomfield. The issue committee that will advance the initiative is called “Energy Bans Hurt Communities.”
“It isn’t fair or legitimate for communities” that ban fracking to receive the tax revenue benefits from oil and gas production taking place in other parts of the state, according to a news release issued on March 20.
The ballot measure follows a failed attempt by Sonnenberg to get the General Assembly to adopt a similar proposal in January. Sonnenberg’s House Bill 14-1064 met a quick demise in the House Local Government Committee on Jan. 22. He vowed at the time to come back with a ballot measure.
McNulty said that while only a small handful of “liberal communities” had banned fracking, “the policy is an important one. If you adopt Sierra Club-type energy bans that hurt our communities and our schools, don’t expect energy revenues to pick up your tab.”
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