Pledge to Sign

A successful state ballot initiative is our greatest hope to transform Colorado from one of the nation’s largest GHG polluters to a global leader in the transition away from fossil fuels and toward a just, thriving, Renewable Energy future.

To get on the Colorado statewide ballot, we need to collect well over 135,000 signatures from Coloradan registered voters. Make your commitment now by completing the Pledge to Sign below, and we will contact you when the petition is ready for signatures at a convenient location near you!


Why wait until 2030 to stop permitting new fracking? Why not sooner?

The measure will be on the Nov. 2024 ballot. Assuming it wins, state regulators will have until 2025 (~1 year) to make plans for a phase out of new permits. The ballot measure requires that the number of new permits for fracking must begin to decrease in 2026 and must continue to decrease further each year thereafter, so that after 2030 there will be no new permits.

The proposed timeline allows for a gradual decline in permitting, ensuring that the transition minimizes disruption and potential negative impacts. This timeline is mindful of the complexities involved and allows for the Office of Future of work to support a just transition, training, and reskilling for affected workers, as is directed in the ballot language.

To ensure this measure will win on the 2024 ballot, we must strike a careful balance that creates sustainable, realistic changes in our approach to environmental responsibility, without causing undue disruption to the industry, workers, and communities.

Why should I support a phase out of fracking permits by 2030? Why not a 2040 or 2050 date for the phase out?

While a 2040 or 2050 date would allow for a more gradual phase out, the 2030 date aligns more closely with what scientists from the United Nations Environment Programme, the International Energy Agency, and others have called for to prevent the most catastrophic climate impacts of global heating. They have said that in order to keep global temperature rise below 1.5C, no new fossil fuels should be brought online. UN Secretary-General António Guterres called for governments to commit to no new oil, gas, and coal development ahead of the UN Climate Ambition Summit September 20th, 2023 in NYC. Phasing out fossil fuels as quickly as reasonably possible is vital to meet our climate goals, prevent irreversible environmental damage, protect other important sectors of our economy like agriculture and winter sports, and expedite the transition to a cleaner, sustainable energy future. 

The oil and gas industry is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions from Colorado, especially when you consider the enormous exported emissions – 90% of the oil and 75% of the gas these companies extract from CO is exported. When burned, that exported oil and gas results in more greenhouse gases than all of Colorado’s other sources of emissions from all sectors, combined!

The oil and gas industry is also Colorado’s biggest sources of ozone pollution, resulting in ‘severe’ ozone rating along the Front Range from the EPA, and an ‘F-grade’ by the American Lung Association for many counties. This harms our health, resulting in more asthma, heart attacks, premature deaths, and other health costs for Coloradans.

An August 2023 report from Oil Change International shows that (in addition to the call for no new fossil fuel development): 

  • 60% of the coal, oil, and gas reserves in active fields and mines must stay in the ground to keep the 1.5°C heating limit in reach. 
  • As of 2023, developed oil and gas reserves alone, if fully extracted, would cause cumulative carbon emissions nearly 25% greater than the world’s remaining 1.5°C carbon budget. Thus, even in the theoretical scenario where coal mining stops immediately, developed oil and gas reserves alone could push the world beyond 1.5°C.
  • A significant portion – almost one-fifth (20%) – of oil and gas fields must be shut down, even if no new fields are developed and coal extraction stops tomorrow.
  • Developed fields and mines contain enough fossil fuel to push the world beyond 2°C, a significantly more dangerous threshold that could make parts of our planet newly uninhabitable.

What are the associated greenhouse gas emissions from the oil and gas industry in Colorado and what is the cost to our economy?

In 2025, if we continue to export 90% of our produced oil and 75% of our produced natural gas, the emissions of greenhouse gas from burning this product that Colorado ships out of state will be equivalent to 242.09 million metric tons of carbon dioxide. This dwarfs the projected 2025 emissions (if Colorado’s laws succeed in reducing oil and gas emissions) that will occur from in-state production of oil and gas, which will be 13 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent, according to the 2021 Colorado Greenhouse Gas Reduction Roadmap.

Does this ballot initiative seek to end all oil and gas production in Colorado?

No. This stops new fracking well permits in Colorado after 2030. Operation of almost 50,000 existing active wells is not affected. Those wells can continue to produce for years to come.

What about oil and gas industry workers? We can’t just leave them behind.

Absolutely. This ballot measure includes language directing the Office of Future of Work to support a just transition for all workers in oil and gas. Progress is being made in this area, with legislation that passed in 2022 (HB22-1394) to study transition strategies and funding for oil and gas workers. We must continue to push for more and better solutions for the workers and communities most impacted by fossil fuels and the transition to a cleaner, sustainable energy future in Colorado. 

With over 100,000 existing oil and gas wells across Colorado that will need to be monitored for emissions leaks and recapped approximately every 20 years into perpetuity, the experience of current oil and gas workers will continue to be needed.

Also, there is a great need for workforce development to support the rapidly growing demand for the clean energy transition, such as renewable energy developers and installers, building electrification, heat pumps, electric vehicles and associated infrastructure, etc. Proactive, coordinated planning can help meet this need while ensuring good paying, unionized jobs, reskilling, job placement and transition support for workers and their families.

What about the impact to Colorado’s economy and associated jobs?

According to a recent report by Colorado Fiscal Institute, jobs in oil and gas extraction, pipeline construction and transmission, and jobs in support activities make up less than 1% of Colorado’s employment.

The oil and gas industry makes up only about 3% of Colorado’s economy, and all of the taxes and fees it brings in, including property tax and severance tax, makes up only 1.2% of the total state and local government revenue.

What is the timeline for this ballot initiative? Why should I donate and pledge to sign now?

Phase 1: Jan.-Dec., 2023 – (Underway) Develop, present and defend ballot language at Title Board and Supreme Court. 

    • Launch communications campaign and outreach efforts to gain endorsers, volunteers, donors and individual pledges to sign the petition next year to place the measure on the ballot. (Gathering Pledges to Sign now will help to ensure we can gather 200K signatures – includes buffer to ensure 125K valid signatures – needed in the short timeframe allotted and to save $ on a signature gathering firm.) 
    • Secure funding to reach a financial goal of ~$1.5M ($1.1M minimum) to launch the signature gathering phase. Donations and pledges to contribute toward the $1.5M are needed now to ensure we can hire a signature gathering firm and cover petition printing and other costs necessary to place the measure on the statewide ballot.

Phase 2:  Jan.- Aug., 2024 – Hire a reputable professional signature gathering firm and gather 125K+ valid signatures to place the measure on the statewide ballot

    • Continue to garner financial and volunteer support and ramp up communications campaign and outreach efforts for endorsers.
    • Continue fundraising for communications and ads to get out the YES vote.

Phase 3:  Aug.-Nov., 2024: GOTV (get out the vote) campaign to build voter support for a YES vote!

    • Key Dates: Aug. 5, 2024 – Last day to submit petition signatures. Nov. 5, 2024 – Election Day.
    • 2025: Once the measure wins, state regulators will have this year to plan the decrease in permitting for oil and gas development that uses fracking.
    • 2026-2030: Each year the number of new oil and gas wells permitted will need to decrease. Meanwhile, the Office of Future of Work will support oil and gas workers who wish to transition to other work or to a focus on well monitoring, recapping, remediation and maintenance.