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Sun Mar 6, 2016, 05:00 PM

Greeley Tribune Editorial: Oil and Gas Ballot Measures Would Kill Our County and State's Economy

Tribune Editorial Board opinion: Oil and gas ballot measures would kill our county and state's economy

Ballot initiatives proposed for the upcoming election could have a crippling effect on the oil and gas business in Weld County and the state of Colorado.
We’ve said it before and we’ll keep saying it: The ballot box is not the right place for oil and gas laws, restrictions and regulations to be decided.

Allowing lawmakers to make the laws makes much more sense than adding amendments to the constitution regarding oil and gas regulations.

Coloradans Resisting Extreme Energy Development, or CREED, disagree. The group started out by submitting 20 proposed measures. Now they have narrowed it down to three.

Opponents claim any of the three, if passed, would essentially kill the oil and gas business — and a big chunk of the state’s economy — and we happen to agree.

The three proposed ballot initiatives are:

» No. 63, if approved, would give residents the right to a “healthy environment.” It would allow residents to file lawsuits against oil and gas companies for failing to maintain a healthy environment.

» No. 75 would give local governments authority over state government with regard to oil and gas development within their borders.

» No. 78 asks for a mandatory setback of at least 2,500 feet for new oil and gas development.

We were presented with some information recently from representatives the Colorado Oil and Gas Association. They showed some numbers regarding how bad the economy would be hit if, for instance, a 2,000-foot setback were to become reality.

The reality is startling.
In the first five years, COGA says Colorado would lose 33,469 jobs. Within 15 years, that number would jump to 62,458 lost jobs. When it comes to personal income, that would cost Coloradans $105 billion in the next 15 years.

Tax revenue would be another spot that would get hit, with an estimated $428 million lost annually. With Colorado already in a budget crunch these days, that could be crippling for schools, roads and other areas.

And the big one: during that 15 years the Colorado GDP would shrink by $11 billion per year for a grand total of $165 billion.

All those numbers are for a 2,000-foot setback. They get worse with the proposed 2,500-foot rule.

We appreciate the oil and gas industry isn’t perfect. But with the safety measures that have been implemented — even in just the last five years — to help capture escaping gases and to help mitigate noise and pollution, we feel these measures go way too far.

With the recent recommendations from the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission coming online, COGA officials said Colorado’s oversight of oil and gas operations are some of the strictest in the nation.

Crippling the business now by adding actual constitutional amendments is bad for Weld County and bad for Colorado.

— The Tribune Editorial Board


Those of us who live here, in a city where no resident lives free of the environmental hazards presented by fracking, hazards enhanced by hundreds of wells permitted within city limits -- we have come to regard our local "newspaper" as nothing more than the PR organ of the oil and gas industry. The editors have finally come out and admitted that we are right in that assessment.

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Reply Greeley Tribune Editorial: Oil and Gas Ballot Measures Would Kill Our County and State's Economy (Original post)
madamesilverspurs Mar 2016 OP
Buzz Clik Mar 2016 #1
mountain grammy Mar 2016 #2
locks Mar 2016 #3

Response to madamesilverspurs (Original post)

Sun Mar 6, 2016, 05:37 PM

1. This is the proper time to purge oil and gas from the Greeley area.


With prices totally crashed and no new development for at least a year, they won't feel the crushing economic blow quite as heavily.

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Response to madamesilverspurs (Original post)

Sun Mar 6, 2016, 07:52 PM

2. The deep pockets of the oil and gas industry

pays for all those breezy commercials we are treated to day in and day out. Like the mining industry that promised quick profits, the oil and gas industry will pollute as much as they deem necessary and leave citizens with the mess.

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Response to madamesilverspurs (Original post)

Mon Mar 7, 2016, 08:20 PM

3. The oil and gas industry has bought off all the elected officials and the media.

But it was good to hear both Bernie and Hillary during the debate say they are against fracking.

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