Press Releaseedit-votenoon71_1183858161680173_8060411941233858356_n

Sept. 29, 2016

Initiative 75 and 78 advocates will not issue a challenge, but vow to fight on

After weighing the extensive costs required to challenge Secretary of State ruling, advocates of Initiatives 75 and 78 turn their focus on defeating industry-backed Raise the Bar.

Denver, CO — After a thorough investigation into the Secretary of State’s ruling of insufficient signatures for ballot initiatives 75 and 78, the grassroots groups supporting the initiatives determined that the costs and time involved would be too great to move forward with an appeal.  Initiatives 75 and 78 were designed to protect the health and safety of Colorado communities from intrusive oil and gas development.

“It has been incredibly inspiring to witness the passion and commitment of Coloradans who who work against all odds to protect our communities and neighborhoods from the harms of fracking,” said Tricia Olson, Executive Director of Yes for Health and Safety Over Fracking. We feel emboldened by the extraordinary success of our campaign. We may have run out of time to make it onto this year’s ballot, but volunteers are working against 71 now and gearing up for the next round, because ultimately we have no choice but to keep fighting to protect our neighborhoods, state and democracy itself. This is only the beginning.”

The primary group established by the oil and gas industry and primarily funded by Anadarko Petroleum and Noble Energy to oppose initiatives 75 and 78, outraised Yes For Health and Safety Over Fracking by a margin of 19-1, depriving people of the opportunity to vote on fracking measures.  In recent weeks, the industry group has transferred $1 million to Initiative 71, or “Raise the Bar.” Should the initiative pass in November, it would make grassroot initiatives prohibitively expensive in Colorado due to stringent distribution requirements, a primary reason why The Denver Post’s editorial board has condemned Raise the Bar.

“Make no mistake about it. Raise the Bar is an effort to prevent future initiatives designed to protect communities from fracking,” said Razz Gormley of Frack Free Colorado “This is corporate money, primarily from the oil and gas industry, being spent to take direct democracy away from citizens. ”

According to Micah Parkin of 350 Colorado, “Raise the Bar would make it nearly impossible for ordinary Colorado people to participate in one of the last vestiges of direct democracy: the ballot initiative process. “Raise the Bar” is an attempt to eliminate legitimate grassroots movements that are powered by people by making qualifying for the ballot even more expensive and logistically cumbersome, leaving the process accessible only to extremely wealthy special interests and corporations, like the oil & gas industry.

Coloradans will have the opportunity vote against Raise the Bar by registering to vote online or via email by October 31. The deadline to register in person is Election Day, November 8.