Aug 29, 2018

Colorado gears up for big fracking fight this election

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

U.S. coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios. This graphic includes "probable deaths" that New York City began reporting on April 14.

More than 62,300 U.S. health care workers have tested positive for the novel coronavirus and at least 291 have died from the virus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported on Tuesday. COVID-19 had infected about 9,300 health professionals when the CDC gave its last update on April 17.

By the numbers: More than 98,900 people have died from COVID-19 and over 1.6 million have tested positive in the U.S. Over 384,900 Americans have recovered and more than 14.9 million tests have been conducted.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 11:00 p.m. ET: 5,589,626 — Total deaths: 350,453 — Total recoveries — 2,286,956Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 11:00 p.m. ET: 1,680,913 — Total deaths: 98,913 — Total recoveries: 384,902 — Total tested: 14,907,041Map.
  3. Federal response: DOJ investigates meatpacking industry over soaring beef pricesMike Pence's press secretary returns to work.
  4. Congress: House Republicans to sue Nancy Pelosi in effort to block proxy voting.
  5. Business: How the new workplace could leave parents behind.
  6. Tech: Twitter fact-checks Trump's tweets about mail-in voting for first timeGoogle to open offices July 6 for 10% of workers.
  7. Public health: Coronavirus antibodies could give "short-term immunity," CDC says, but more data is neededCDC releases guidance on when you can be around others after contracting the virus.
  8. What should I do? When you can be around others after contracting the coronavirus — Traveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  9. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

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Updated 43 mins ago - Politics & Policy

World coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

There are no COVID-19 patients in hospital in New Zealand, which reported just 21 active cases after days of zero new infections. A top NZ health official said Tuesday he's "confident we have broken the chain of domestic transmission."

By the numbers: Almost 5.5 million people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus as of Tuesday, and more than 2.2 million have recovered. The U.S. has reported the most cases in the world (over 1.6 million from 14.9 million tests).