A controversial proposition that would have increased by 2,000 additional feet the legally mandated space between new oil and gas drilling in Colorado and the nearest home has been significantly defeated.
With nearly all of the ballots counted, Proposition 112 was rejected by 57 percent of the more than 1.7 million who voted on the question.
The campaign in favor of the zone expansion was largely animated by concerns over the health risks of exposure to hydraulic fracturing activity.
But in increasing to 2,500 feet the current 500-foot setback for such developments, a wide variety of Colorado public officials and business groups expressed concerns regarding the economic consequences of the proposition.
Oil and gas industry officials warned that the proposition, if passed, could both drastically reduce new drilling activity in Colorado as well as the amount of tax revenue in the state that goes to school districts and local governments.
Supporters of the group Colorado Rising, which organized an initial petition drive for Proposition 112, say that despite the defeat they may launch a new effort in 2020 to put a similar question on the state ballot.
By Garry Boulard