A coalition of pro-business organizations led by Vital for Colorado sent a letter Tuesday to Polis asking him to “stand down” and withdraw his ballot measures, Initiatives 88 and 89, aimed at cracking down on the oil and gas industry.
“We are writing to respectfully ask that you withdraw your support for all proposed ballot initiatives that would add language to our state constitution which will overly restrict the practice of hydraulic fracturing, limit energy development in Colorado and, as a result, create devastating consequences for our state,” says the letter.
The coalition includes about 25 pro-business groups as well as individuals such as Kelly Brough, president of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, Tamra Ward, president of Colorado Concern, and Glendale Mayor Michael Dunafon.
There was no immediate public response from Polis to the letter.
Polis has until Aug. 4 to gather 86,105 valid signatures for each of his initiatives in order to qualify them for the Nov. 4 ballot. As of last week, his campaign Safe.Clean.Colorado had collected about 65,000 signatures for each measure.
“Everyone on both sides of the political aisle and in the business community agree that these ballot initiatives destroy private property rights and are disastrous for Colorado,” said Karen Crummy, spokeswoman for the industry-backed Protect Colorado.
“For the good of the state, Congressman Polis should withdraw them,” said Crummy in a statement.
Polis is also under intense pressure from both state and national Democrats to end his campaign, which they fear would boost pro-fracking Republican candidates and harm the reelection bids of Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper and Sen. Mark Udall.
Polis has insisted that the initiatives are commonsense reforms needed to ensure the health and safety of residents in response to the state’s oil and gas boom.
“We should require oil and gas companies to move fracking further away from our homes, schools, and hospitals to protect us from spills and toxic air emissions,” says a post on the Safe.Clean.Colorado webpage.