For the fifth time in about three weeks, the Wall Street Journal has covered the Colorado election. Today’s editorial titled “Rocky Mountain Highlight” (clever) praised Colorado voters for their rejection of Amendment 66 noting the trouncing may have been “the most significant election result” nationally apart from the New York City mayoral race and New Jersey gubernatorial smackdown. The ed board also praised the outcomes in the Douglas County School Board election, but the Journal was critical of the fracking bans that passed and the marijuana tax, noting:
“State law likely will override these local [fracking bans] for now, but environmental groups are now expected to put a statewide fracking ban on the 2014 ballot. Colorado has several rich shale plays, notably the Piceance Basin in the northwest. A drilling ban would be an act of economic masochism, forfeiting thousands of jobs and billions in revenue, but then the Boulder crowd is already affluent.
Coloradans also approved a 25% tax on the marijuana sales they legalized in 2012. The money is earmarked for education, so now parents can tell their kids they’re getting high for their future, or something. The problem is that the tax rate, which can reach 35% in some localities, will be so high that it may encourage a black market, thus defeating the supposed purpose of legalization. This is what comes from toking up before economics class.”
While we laughed about the assertion that some have toked up before economics class, the fracking bans are no laughing matter. Oil and gas development in Colorado represents real opportunity for our citizens. When fractivists spread misinformation in order to clear the field for green energy investments, they’re not just harming the industry, but their neighbors as well.