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A large fracking operation becomes a new part of the horizon with Mount Meeker. Photo: Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post via Getty Images

Colorado's oil industry is facing an existential battle with news announced Wednesday that an initiative significantly curtailing oil and gas production has made its way on to the state ballot for a vote this Election Day.

The big picture: Colorado, a political battleground, is America’s fifth-largest gas-producing and seventh-largest oil-producing state. Layer on top of that a growing population colliding with an increase in fracking — a controversial extraction technique for oil and gas — and it’s ripe for this controversy. Two similar efforts to get similar initiatives on the ballot in 2014 and 2016 failed.

One level deeper: The initiative would increase a buffer zone between buildings and future drilling from 500 feet to 2,500 feet, and expand it to other "vulnerable" areas, which could encompass rural areas. The industry points to a state government agency study concluding the initiative could cut off as much as 85% of the state's future energy development on non-federal lands.

What we're watching: The news impact on stocks of publicly traded companies with big footprints in Colorado, including:

  • Anadarko
  • Extraction Oil and Gas
  • Noble Energy
  • PDC Energy
  • SRC Energy

What's next: If it passes, expect it to galvanize activist environmentalists to renew calls to ban fracking in other regions of the country — and raise big issues for oil companies with substantial footprints in Colorado.

Go deeper: Colorado governor candidates oppose initiative

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Ipsos poll: COVID trick-or-treat — Study: Trump campaign rallies likely led to over 700 COVID-related deaths.
  2. World: Boris Johnson announces month-long COVID-19 lockdown in England — Greece tightens coronavirus restrictions as Europe cases spike — Austria reimposes coronavirus lockdowns amid surge of infections.
  3. Economy: Conference Board predicts economy won’t fully recover until late 2021.
  4. Technology: Fully at-home rapid COVID test to move forward.
  5. States: New York rolls out new testing requirements for visitors.
4 hours ago - Health

Boris Johnson announces month-long COVID-19 lockdown in England

Prime Minsiter Boris Johnson. Photo: NurPhoto / Getty Images

A new national lockdown will be imposed in England, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced Saturday, as the number of COVID-19 cases in the country topped 1 million.

Details: Starting Thursday, people in England must stay at home, and bars and restaurants will close, except for takeout and deliveries. All non-essential retail will also be shuttered. Different households will be banned from mixing indoors. International travel, unless for business purposes, will be banned. The new measures will last through at least December 2.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

The massive early vote

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Early voting in the 2020 election across the U.S. on Saturday had already reached 65.5% of 2016's total turnout, according to state data compiled by the U.S. Elections Project.

Why it matters: The coronavirus pandemic and its resultant social-distancing measures prompted a massive uptick in both mail-in ballots and early voting nationwide, setting up an unprecedented and potentially tumultuous count in the hours and days after the polls close on Nov. 3.

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