Q & A: Gov.-elect Jared Polis, after Prop 112 defeat, talks drilling setbacks

Colorado Gov.-elect Jared Polis, who supported 2,000-foot drilling setbacks four years ago but opposed this fall’s Proposition 112, which would have required 2,500-foot setbacks, declined to say Wednesday if or what additional limits he will seek to set as governor.

The same voters who elected Polis, a Democrat, on Tuesday also resoundingly rejected Prop 112, which would have prohibited new oil and gas wells within 2,500 feet of homes, schools, other occupied buildings and “vulnerable areas.” With the Colorado House and Senate both controlled by Democrats, it’s widely expected lawmakers will take up the issue in January.

Polis, in an interview Wednesday with The Denver Post, said he plans to work with the legislature and issue executive orders during his first year to deliver on his big campaign promises of lowering health care costs, expanding early childhood education and moving toward more renewable energy.

Here’s what he told the Post, edited for clarity and brevity:

You made a lot of audacious promises during the campaign and I’m really curious, how do you want the public to measure your success and hold you accountable for your promises during your first year?

Colorado Election Results

I think everything we talked about during the campaign we want to fight hard for. I fully expect we’ll have some successes and some failures, and hopefully we’ll be able to point to some solid achievements after the first year.

Is there anything in particular you plan on prioritizing?

Certainly, saving families money on health care, expanding access to preschool and kindergarten, and taking the steps to move toward more renewable energy will be among our top priorities both through executive actions as well as working with the state legislature.

Voters pretty resoundingly defeated ballot issues last night. What were your takeaways as you look at pretty much everything going down?

I was glad that some of the measures that I strongly opposed, including Amendment 74 and Proposition 109, failed. There were a number of proposals that would have interfered with our ability to deliver on full-day kindergarten. It would have made it harder to get some of our policies across the finish line. So I was really inspired by the wisdom of the voters of Colorado.

Proposition 110 and Amendment 73 would have given you an influx of money to tackle roads and school funding. Voters said no to those issues, as well. Does this slow down your work?

Those were not our proposals. I didn’t endorse any of those.

Let’s talk about transportation. During the campaign, you promised to be the convener in chief. What are you going to be doing differently than Proposition 110, which was a bipartisan effort?

I’m going to be talking to the business community and Republicans and Democrats in the legislature and also people out in the field about what we need to do to build 21st-century infrastructure and how the voters of the state want to pay for it. Voters said they didn’t want to bond. They didn’t want a sales tax. So I think the question is what do they want?

What possible …read more

Source:: The Denver Post – Politics


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