This summer there will be petition gatherers in our town trying to get any number of things on the November ballot. One measure I wouldn't sign for is Initiative 97. It basically makes all oil and gas development impossible by increasing the setbacks from 500 feet to 2,500 feet. Sure, oil and gas companies talk constantly about their ability to drill more than a mile horizontally underground, but if you make well pads 2,500 feet from the nearest occupied structure, you quickly render nearly the entire state unsuitable for drilling. I support strong regulation of oil and gas, but what I don't support is a wholesale ban on it. Our economy and our very lives run on the products they produce, and such a draconian measure would be a total disaster for the state. When they come up to you and ask for your signature to get 97 on the ballot, decline to sign.
Dr. Laurie Stein