A proposed amendment to the Colorado state constitution would give local governments around the state the authority to restrict or ban oil and gas drilling and other industrial activities – even those permitted by state law – if they pose a threat to the health and safety of residents.
The "right to local self-government" act is being proposed by the Colorado Community Rights Network (CCRN), a new organization that is gaining considerable traction, and will be submitted to the state in its final form within the next week. The act will need 86,105 signatures to qualify for the November ballot.
The act states that it would give local governments the authority to remove the "rights, powers, and duties of for-profit business entities, operating or seeking to operate in the community, to prevent such rights and powers from usurping or otherwise conflicting with the fundamental rights of people, their communities and the natural environment."
Ben Price, project director at the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund, which is providing legal counsel to the CCRN, says the measure is less about regulation and more about the protection of individual rights for the citizens of Colorado.