Ballot Issue: Surface Rights Group Look to 2007

Reality has knocked on the door for the Colorado Landowners for Fairness (CLF), a Glenwood Springs based citizens group that was seeking signatures for a “surface rights” statewide initiative. The goal of 100,000 signatures in four weeks proved to be too daunting.

“We hope to find someone to carry the measure in the legislature again in 2007,” said CLF chair John Gorman, “because we will not get enough signatures to place it on the ballot this year.” The group has acknowledged they are far short of the needed number of signatures. “So we won’t have anything to turn into the Secretary of State,” Gorman stated. Their ballot measure would have required oil and gas operators to compensate private property owners when oil and gas drilling occurred on their property or neighborhood. A similar bill sponsored by Rep. Kathleen Curry D-61 was defeated in the legislature last session. Had it passed, most likely Governor Bill Owens, a former oil and gas lobbyist would have vetoed it.

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