Brutal. That’s the only way to describe the results of the economic impact study conducted by the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado and the Common Sense Policy Roundtable on the proposed
local control initiative fracking ban in Colorado.
PeakNation™, when people pinpoint when this initiative failed, they will point to the release of this study.
Leeds begins its summary by describing how large the oil and gas industry is in Colorado, saying:
…the industry size in terms of gross domestic product, oil and gas extraction and support activities was nearly equivalent to the construction industry or the accommodations and food and services industry in 2011. [the Peak emphasis]
That’s right, fractivists want to place one of the most haphazard, uncertain, restrictive laws on an industry that is as important to Colorado’s economy as all of our construction activities or all of our restaurants and hotels combined.
Turn away, fractivists, it is only going to get worse for you as we reveal the bottom-line numbers.
In January, everyone was touting Colorado’s amazing job growth when we added 7,300 jobs. Leeds predicts we will have 68,000 fewer jobs within the first five years if this initiative is passed, and 93,000 fewer jobs by 2040.
Colorado’s GDP will lose $8 billion each year over the first five years and another $12 billion per year over the next twenty years. To put that large number into context, Colorado’s entire state budget for this year is only $24 billion. Meaning, if this initiative is passed, we will effectively be lighting an entire year of the state budget on fire, all for fractivists’ pleasure. But, to put this in even starker terms of what this means directly for our local and state governments, Leeds estimates an annual reduction of $985 million in taxes each year by 2040.
The economic impact of restricting fracking spreads far beyond the five counties that make up 87% of the direct oil and gas industry, or the 31 counties that make up the last 13%. No, of all the jobs that work directly and in supporting roles with the gas and oil extracting industry, a full 36% of those jobs take place in Colorado’s 28 counties that don’t have a single fracking well in them. Even if no fracking takes place in your county, you will be affected by a ban that reduces fracking production.
Democrats earlier this year rejected a common-sense bill that would prohibit oil and gas tax money from going to locales that banned it. But, those cities and counties will lose money anyway if fracking is banned, according to the study.
It’s becoming increasingly difficult for Democrats to claim that they are helping the Colorado economy when they continually support measures that reduce opportunity in the state.