Colorado's Vote For Colorado Energy
Posted November 8, 2018
A big shout-out to Colorado’s voters for decisively rejecting a measure that could have significantly stifled new natural gas and oil production in their state – showing that they value energy’s importance to their economy, schools and public services.
Coloradans clearly support responsible development, and Tuesday’s vote signals that going forward, natural gas and oil’s value to Colorado is to be acknowledged as everyone works together to advance energy growth and public health. Tracee Bentley, Colorado Petroleum Council executive director:
“Colorado plays a leading role in America’s energy revolution, and our state has spoken loud and clear that we recognize the importance of the industry to the state’s economic well-being.”
Proposition 112 would have worked against that well-being, imposing 2,500-foot setbacks around certain structures and “vulnerable areas,” making 85 percent of non-federal land in the state – the nation’s sixth-largest natural gas and oil producer – off limits to new development. Analysis indicated the restrictions would cost Colorado tens of thousands of jobs and more than $1 billion in tax revenue by 2030.
Coloradans said no, emphatically. Proposition 112 failed by a 57 percent to 43 percent margin. Bentley:
“Proposition 112 would have hurt more than just the natural gas and oil industry, as 77 percent of the 43,000 jobs it would have eliminated in year one would have come from outside the energy sector. Colorado’s businesses, both small and large, are increasingly co-dependent: hurt one, and you hurt all. It is heartening to see voters from across the state stand up in defense of the dignity of their friends’, families’ and neighbors’ work.”
Coloradans voted for growth and opportunity. Tom Morgan, owner of an apartment complex in Greeley and Morgan Energy, announced that he would proceed with a $32 million addition to the apartment complex that he had delayed because of Proposition 112’s potential impacts to the energy industry. “I was very worried about the economy of Greeley if this passed,” Morgan told the Greeley Tribune. “I think it would have really destroyed (all the growth).” Others talked about the measure’s threat to the rights of mineral owners and the state’s way of life.
This is an important statement vote that should guide future energy policy discussions in Colorado. Industry and its employees are invested in their state’s economic and environmental future – as workers and residents who care about the communities where they have jobs and raise their families.
Looking ahead, there’s opportunity for serious discussions of ways to support an industry sector that’s vital to Colorado’s future while also continuing to protect and improve public health – as opposed to thinly veiled attempts by natural gas and oil opponents to virtually ban new development. Bentley:
“We now turn to a new year, in which we will continue substantive, serious dialogue with our colleagues on the other side of this debate. There will always be a seat at the table for anyone who seeks to keep Colorado the envy of the nation, and we are proud to be a part of it.”
About The Author
Mark Green joined API after a career in newspaper journalism, including 16 years as national editorial writer for The Oklahoman in the paper’s Washington bureau. Previously, Mark was a reporter, copy editor and sports editor at an assortment of newspapers. He earned his journalism degree from the University of Oklahoma and master’s in journalism and public affairs from American University. He and his wife Pamela have two grown children and six grandchildren.
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