An initiative to expand the setback distance required for oil and gas drilling in Colorado just received a boost, potentially making the November ballot. The stricter drilling requirements could have significant implications for Colorado shale drilling, and the industry is decrying the measure as a “ban” on new drilling. Initiative 97 would require oil and gas wells to be a minimum of 2,500 feet away from “occupied structures,” which means houses, and “vulnerable areas,” which includes parks, public spaces and fresh water, among other areas. That distance is much greater than the current distance of just 500 feet for “occupied structures,” and 1,000 feet for “high occupancy buildings,” such as hospitals and schools. In other words, shale drillers would have to place their wells at a much greater distance from local communities. The campaign to impose stricter drilling requirements on the oil and gas industry gained urgency last year […]