Colorado Proposition 112 - What fresh hell is this?

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

The most contentious legislative contest for the 2018 midterms here in Colorado is Proposition 112, entitled "Increased Setback Requirement for Oil and Natural Gas Development."

As is our custom here at Hot Chicks Dig Smart Men, let's Follow The Money.

This is a proposition, which in Colorado means it was placed on the ballot though petition. A minimum number of signatories are required in order for the Secretary of State to place it on the ballot.

Based on the Colorado Secretary of State website, the following groups are in favor of this measure:
  • Colorado Rising for Health and Safety
  • Earthworks Action Fund Issue Committee
These groups have raised approximately $882K to support the measure.

Those opposed to the measure are:
  • Protecting Colorado's Environment, Economy, and Energy Independence (Protect Colorado)
  • State Ballot Issue Committee
  • Fix Our Damn Roads
  • Spirit of Colorado
  • Americans for Prosperity - Colorado Issue Committee (AFP-CO IC)
These groups have raised over $33M to oppose the measure.

Based on my research, most of the contributions for the "opposed" side of the house come directly from the energy business. Understandable - if this measure passes, the real estate available for oil and gas extraction will diminish significantly. This translates to less money for these companies (including the Koch Brothers and their lick-spittle PAC, AFP), Noble Energy, Ralsa Energy, and more, plus the small businesses that support these large companies).

The main contributors on the "in favor" side of the house come from granola crunching hippies, and by "granola crunching hippies," I mean "people who don't think water should be flammable."  Theirs is a grass roots initiative.

Most of the politicians who have taken a position on this measure are against it. Again, understandable, since no one wants to be the guy who's on the wrong side of the energy industry when it's time for reelection.

As with most political contests, the fear mongering, exaggeration, and downright liar, liar, pants on fire rhetoric is everywhere. Those opposed claim it will have serious and long-term economic repercussions. Those in favor say these claims are grossly exaggerated, and that fracking and other extraction technologies cause serious short and long-term health problems. I'm not going to recap the research here because I have a job, so you'll need to read the claims on your own to determine the actual facts. But here are some things to consider when forming your own opinion:
I've decided how to vote in this particular case based on my own research, analysis and values. Please...do the same.

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