Environmental groups in Colorado on Monday said they collected enough signatures to add proposed anti-fracking initiatives to a state ballot in November, as long as their petitions make it through a validation review by the Secretary of State’s office.
One of the initiatives would strengthen the state’s “setback” rules, requiring new oil and gas development facilities to be located at least 2,500 feet from occupied structures and areas of interest, such as parks. The second would transfer regulatory control of new oil and gas development to local governments.
Both needed 98,492 signatures to make the ballot.
“We made it over the hurdle of having the signatures needed to turn into the Secretary of State and now it’s in their hands to go through the validation process,” said Lisa Trope, an organizer with Food and Water Watch, one of the groups gathering the signatures.
The Secretary of State’s office will review the petitions in the coming weeks to ensure no duplicate signatures or unregistered voters were included.
An issues committee for Coloradans Resisting Extreme Energy Development led the signature gathering process. A spokeswoman for that organization did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The initiatives come after the state’s Supreme Court earlier this year struck down fracking bans approved by voters in the cities of Fort Collins and Longmont.
The proposed initiatives have drawn strong opposition from oil and gas companies, which in recent months have donated millions to Protect Colorado, an industry-backed coalition leading the fight against the initiatives.
Energy companies Anadarko Petroleum Corp and Noble Energy Inc in the past month each increased their contributions to the group by $2.5 million, bringing their total donations to $6.55 million and $5 million, respectively, according to the latest campaign finance filing.
Protect Colorado declined to provide a statement.
A study by the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, the state agency charged with promoting energy development, found that 90 percent of the states’ available surface acreage would be unavailable for oil and gas development under the proposed setback rules.
(Reporting by Liz Hampton; Editing by Bernarrd Orr)
UK travel giant Thomas Cook set to collapse: report
Thomas Cook's 178-year existence was reported to be coming to an end on Monday after the British travel firm struggled to find private investment to keep it afloat, potentially affecting thousands of holidaymakers.
The operator has said it needs £200 million ($250 million) or else it will face administration, which could affect 600,000 holidaymakers and require Britain's largest peacetime repatriation.
A source close to the negotiations told AFP that the company had failed to find the cash from private investors and would collapse unless the government intervened.
But ministers are unlikely to step in due to worries about the pioneering operator's longer-term viability, the Times reported, leaving it on the brink.
‘We are the people’: Watch Billy Porter get a standing ovation for his passionate speech at the Emmys
In a powerful and passionate speech accepting his Emmy, "Pose" actor Billy Porter showered the audience with love and proudly reminded all of their right to belong and be loved.
"Oh, my God. God bless you all! The category is love, y'all, love!" Porter exclaimed.
The epic FX show "Pose" depicts Black and Latinos in the LGBTQ ballroom culture of New York City in the 1980s in the first season and the early 1990s in the second season.
"I am so overwhelmed and so overjoyed to have lived long enough to see this day," he said. "James Baldwin wrote, 'It took many years of vomiting up the filth I was taught about myself and half-believed, before I was able to walk on the earth as though I had a right to be here.' I have the right. You have the right. We all have the right."
Paris show of King Tutankhamun artifacts set new record with 1.42 million visitors
A blockbuster Tutankhamun show set a new all-time French record Sunday, with 1.42 million visitors flocking to see the exhibition in Paris, the organisers said.
The turnout beat the previous record set by another Tutankhamun show billed as the "exhibition of the century" in 1967, when 1.24 million queued to see "Tutankhamun and His Times" at the Petit Palais.
"Tutankhamun: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh" -- which has been described as a "once in a generation" show -- will open in London in November.
The last time a show of comparable size about the boy king opened there in 1972 it sparked "Tutmania", with 1.6 million people thronging the British Museum.