FrackingAfter fractivists dropped 11 potential ballot initiatives to ban or cripple fracking in Colorado, the oil and gas industry responded with its own shot across the bow – a study by the University of Colorado showing how important the industry is to the state, “Oil and Gas Industry Economic and Fiscal Contributions in Colorado by County, 2014”.

Here are a few stats from the study:

  • Contributed $31.7 billion to Colorado’s economy
  • Supported 38,650 direct jobs with average annual wages in excess of $105,000 -twice the average wage of all industries in Colorado
  • Supported a total of 102,700 jobs and $7.6 billion in compensation

This industry definitely sounds like something worth banning. That’s sarcasm, folks.

It’s not just those who work for the industry that benefit from oil and gas industry. All Coloradans benefit, according to Colorado Oil and Gas Association’s Dan Haley:

“Clearly, even as we work through this period of lower commodity prices, the oil and gas industry’s impact on Colorado’s economy is significant. The industry continues to provide, and support, thousands of good paying jobs in all corners of the state. Governments across Colorado also depend on the oil and gas industry to pay for much-need public services. Without revenue from this industry, we would not be able to provide the necessary funding, or would have to further raise taxes, for public schools, roads, parks, and many other government services that Coloradans depend on.”

Despite the claims by proponents of the 11 ballot initiatives that oil and gas development in Colorado is “extreme”, it’s clear that the extremists here are the fractivists who want to send Colorado’s economy into a tailspin.  The only question we have is which Democratic elected officials will denounce the proposed initiatives and which will embrace them. The fractivist Democratic base deserves to know.