Big Oil has poured a lot of money to defeat energy-restricting ballot initiatives in various states in the midterm elections, and it succeeded in two key votes.
Voters in Colorado were asked to vote on a ballot proposition to increase the setback distance for drilling oil and gas wells by five times to 2,500 feet, which would have put a lot of land off limits for new developments. Voters in Washington State voted on a proposal to instate a U.S. first state-wide carbon tax.
Both initiatives failed, and both ‘no’ camps were supported by Big Oil.
In Colorado, Proposition 112 requiring much greater setback distance failed with 56.75 percent of votes against, a relief for Colorado drillers such as Anadarko, Noble Energy, and Devon Energy who had sponsored the ‘no’ camp in the campaign.
“We’re grateful that Coloradans stood with the energy sector to oppose this measure. I want every Coloradan to know that we are committed to developing our resources in a responsible manner that protects the environment and keeps our employees and communities healthy and safe,” Dan Haley, President & CEO of the Colorado Oil & Gas Association, said in a statement. Related: Is Shale The Future For Big Oil?
“This measure was an extreme proposal that would have had devastating impacts across the state on jobs, education and numerous other programs important to each of us,” said Chip Rimer, Chairman of COGA’s Board of Directors and Senior Vice President of Global Services at Noble Energy.
Washington State voters rejected the carbon tax initiative with 56.3 percent opposed to the initiative and 43.7 percent supporting it, in another win for Big Oil, which had spent more than US$31 million to fight the initiative, double the amount that environmental activists and billionaires had raised to back the measure.
In a setback for Big Oil in Florida, voters passed a measure banning offshore oil drilling in state waters.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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