Tonight, the proponents of ballot initiative 121, which would have prevented local governments that ban fracking from benefiting from state energy development funds, was pulled by its sponsors as part of a deal to prevent Rep. Jared Polis (D-Not the Middle Class) from annihilating Colorado’s oil and gas industry.
And, so we find ourselves right back where we started. How ridiculous has this entire episode been? The fractivists long had the entire Colorado fracking industry in their sights ever since a few small victories in Colorado’s liberal enclaves had them dreaming about ending a $29 billion part of Colorado’s economy.
Without the trump card of initiative 121, who knows what kind of torture Polis would have exacted on the Colorado economy and Colorado’s families to ensure the largesse of his second? third? who knows? vacation home. Here’s what state Reps. McNulty and Sonnenberg, backers of the initiatives had to say:
McNulty: “For months we’ve asked Polis to pull his initiatives in favor of a more constructive approach. Proposed measure 121 framed the issue and allowed us to do that. It’s now up to Polis to make good on his promise to end his economic brinkmanship, as he promised he would earlier today.’
Sonnenberg: “Jared Polis‘ campaign to decimate oil and gas development was a heavy handed fool’s errand from the start. When the Governor called Frank and me late last night, we were both sort of stunned that, after all these months of chest thumping, Polis would just fold up. His polling no doubt showed that his anti-fracking crusade was destined to fail.”
Of course, had Gov. John Hickenlooper been even a half-decent leader, Colorado would never have been threatened by a handful of fringe eco-extremists to begin with. But, at least 121 helped force his hand.