As you were shopping for last-minute Christmas gifts, fractivist magnet Coloradans Resisting Extreme Energy Development (CREED) was delivering a few gifts of its own. Last Tuesday, CREED submitted 11 proposals to cripple the oil and gas industry by literally or essentially banning fracking in our state. The most punitive of the initiatives are those that propose a 4,000 foot setback.
Last time the state’s economy was held hostage by the irrational demands of fractivists, we learned from the Commonsense Policy Roundtable that a 2,000 foot setback result in:
- 50% fewer available drilling locations
- 36,000 fewer jobs in the first five years
- 49,000 fewer jobs on average over 25 years
- $160 billion in GDP lost through 2040
- $6.4 billion in GDP lost per year on average through 2040
- $110 billion in personal income lost through 2040
- $273 million in lost tax revenue in the first five years, and $439 million lost per year by 2040
Now, imagine what a 4,000 foot setback would do. Yeah, it’s really not pretty.
Perhaps just as disturbing is the way that fractivists believe they can trample the U.S. Constitution by simply declaring via Colorado constitutional amendment that property rights no longer apply in the state. This is similar language that the fractivists tried last year. Here’s what we said then:
“Lynn Bartels’ report on the remaining initiatives floating out there showed disturbing language throughout several of the initiatives: “declares there is no compensation to the mineral-right holder for that 1,500 feet because it’s not considered a taking by government”. Essentially, what this means is that the government will prevent new development on privately-owned land and is not obligated in any way to compensate the land owners. This would undermine the basic idea of private property rights that Americans value.”
The same applies today. These 11 initiatives are a massive property rights grab and should be rejected by those on both sides of the aisle. In addition to the highly-contentious presidential campaign in swing-state Colorado, these 11 initiatives should only intensify the politically charged environment in Colorado next year. To that we say, bring it.
In case you don’t have time to wade through all of the language in the initiatives, here is a pocket guide. You’re welcome.
- Initiative 62: Ban on fracking in Colorado, also includes a statement that mineral owners would not be compensated for their property loss
- Initiative 63: Environmental bill of rights, which gives local government the right to ban activities that violate this so-called right; if two laws are in conflict, the ” environmentally healthier” law wins out
- Initiative 64: Local governments can limit or prohibit oil and gas development and state law does not trump local law
- Initiative 65: Minimum 2,500 foot setback, but local governments can enact larger setbacks; buildings cannot be built closer than 2,500 feet from a well, any abandoned well that is revived would be considered a new well subject to setback requirements
- Initiative 66: Same as 65, but instead of a 2,500 foot setback, the whactivist fractivists are calling for a 4,000 foot setback
- Initiative 67: Same as 65, but without the building requirements
- Initiative 68: Same as 66, but without the building requirements
- Initiative 69: Same as 65, but municipalities also can require a greater than 2,500 foot setback when wells are used for waste water disposal from fracking
- Initiative 70: Same as 66, but municipalities also can require a greater than 4,000 foot setback when wells are used for waste water disposal from fracking
- Initiative 71: Requires a 2,500 foot setback, but local governments may enact a greater than 2,500 foot setback when wells are used for waste water disposal from fracking
- Initiative 72: Requires a 4,000 foot setback, but local governments may enact a greater than 4,000 foot setback when wells are used for waste water disposal from fracking