Environmental groups delivered two separate anti-fracking petitions to the Colorado secretary of state on Monday under a tight deadline to be included on the ballot in November.
The initiatives mirror policies being discussed by both presidential candidates on allowing local and city leaders have a say on banning the oil and gas production method.
Both petitions seek to make it more difficult to drill using fracking in the state, which could set a precedent for similar action in other states.
The petitions are expected to kick off a big campaign push by environmentalists in the state to get enough votes. But also a push to have them defeated.
"We are confident that Coloradans will see these measures for what they are: a backdoor fracking ban that would be economically devastating for our state," said Karen Crummy, communications director for the pro-drilling group Protecting Colorado's Environment, Economy, and Energy Independence.
"If passed, they would eliminate 90 percent of all new oil and natural gas development," Crummy said. "This means more than 140,000 of our friends and neighbors will lose their jobs, and everyone in the state will surrender $217 billion in economic activity over the next 15 years.
"These initiatives would also allow the government to take private property, costing taxpayers billions of dollars in compensation costs. This is not the Colorado way and is out of step with the majority of Coloradans who support responsible oil and natural gas development."
The anti-fracking groups had to get just under 100,000 signatures for the petitions to be considered. And the secretary of state must confirm the signatures in order for the initiatives to be included for a vote this November.
Observers say it's going to be tight, explaining that many of the signatures will be invalid. So, anyone wanting their issue on the ballot will need at least 140,000, or more, signatures to ensure the minimum amount is met. It won't be known for at least a month if the initiatives will be included or not.