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Sun Mar 6, 2016, 04:59 PM

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

http://www.greeleytribune.com/news/opinion/20944836-113/tribune-opinion-oil-and-gas-ballot-measures-would

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 Editorial: Oil and Gas Ballot Measures Would Kill Our County and State's Economy (Original post)
madamesilverspurs Mar 2016 OP
Erich Bloodaxe BSN Mar 2016 #1
pscot Mar 2016 #2
madamesilverspurs Mar 2016 #3
pansypoo53219 Mar 2016 #4
pscot Mar 2016 #5
rpannier Mar 2016 #6

Response to madamesilverspurs (Original post)

Sun Mar 6, 2016, 05:11 PM

1. If that's true, Colorado is too dependent upon fossil fuels for income, and needs to seriously work

on developing income streams not dependent upon an industry that will, sooner or later, go the way of the dinosaurs.

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Response to madamesilverspurs (Original post)

Sun Mar 6, 2016, 05:27 PM

2. The editors are probably right

Millions of people's livelihoods depend on fossil fuel extraction, which is why the coal belt has gone from Democratic to overwhelmingly Republican. We can't stop.

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Response to pscot (Reply #2)

Sun Mar 6, 2016, 05:32 PM

3. Those of us

suffering ill effects would beg to differ. At what point does the health of the populace take precedence over an industry's bottom line?

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Response to madamesilverspurs (Original post)

Sun Mar 6, 2016, 05:58 PM

4. because west virginia is doing great. burn more fossils!!! YAY! drill baby drill.

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Response to pansypoo53219 (Reply #4)

Sun Mar 6, 2016, 06:25 PM

5. That's the spirit

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Response to madamesilverspurs (Original post)

Mon Mar 7, 2016, 01:21 AM

6. So they were presented with numbers from COGA, a pro-fracking and fossil fuel organization

and were stunned that the news showed it would be bad for the economy

I know I was just as shocked when the local Consortium for Legalization of Robbing Banks showed me a set of statistics that 'proved' how bad outlawing bank robberies would be for the economy

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