McWilliams: Students should vote yes on Proposition 112

Leta McWilliams

Editor’s Note: All opinion section content reflects the views of the individual author only and does not represent a stance taken by The Collegian or its editorial board.

The midterm elections are almost here and there are many important issues up for debate. One of the most important ones being Proposition 112.

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If approved, Proposition 112 would “mandate that new oil and gas development, including fracking, be a minimum distance of 2,500 feet from occupied buildings such as homes, schools, hospitals and other areas designated as vulnerable.”

This proposition won’t stop fracking altogether. It’s simply putting restrictions on where companies can drill for oil. It’s putting the health of the community and the environment first.

Colorado Rising is the organization behind Proposition 112. Anne Lee Foster, a ballot initiative proponent and member of Colorado Rising, is encouraging citizens to vote yes on Proposition 112.

“Voting yes on 112 is a vote for health, a vote for a safe community,” Foster said. “It’s a vote to keep toxic chemicals away from our communities, and push for long term health in Colorado.”

Fort Collins is surrounded by fracking and oil and gas wells. This proposition directly impacts us. By voting yes, the air we breathe will be cleaner and the water we drink will be less likely to be contaminated.

There’s tons of campaigns against this proposition. Protect Colorado is one of the biggest organizations fighting against Proposition 112. Karen Crummy, a spokeswoman for Protect Colorado, stated that “this initiative is economically devastating to the state of Colorado. Not only would it cost thousands of jobs, but it would cost billions in actual economic impact.”

This argument is putting money over the wellbeing of Colorado citizens. According to the Rocky Mountain Energy Reform, the oil and gas industry only provides about 213,000 Colorado citizens with jobs, which is under 4 percent of the population.

While oil and gas put a lot of money towards Colorado’s economy, clean energy has the potential to do the same. Saying that Proposition 112 is bad for Colorado’s economy is a lazy argument that blatantly puts the health of the community on the back-burner.

“Voting no is perpetuating the same song and dance that corporate powers have been putting on forever,” Foster said. “It’s propaganda. They did the same things with the tobacco and car industries, and everything they’ve said about 112 has been disproven.”

Voting yes on Proposition 112 is in every student’s best interest. It’s a way to help the environment, our health and ensure that Colorado remains beautiful and clean for generations to come. It’s also a way to participate in our civic duty of voting and making our voices heard.

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“For students, this is a great way to participate in direct democracy,” Foster said. “It’s a way to stand against corporate power and stand up for the environment. This affects our community and it’s a way for everyone to take the power back into our hands.”

Voting yes on Proposition 112 means voting yes for the environment. It’s voting yes to push Colorado in the right direction in fighting climate change. It’s voting for our health and for future generations.

Leta McWilliams can be reached at letters@collegian and online at @LetaMcWilliams