At today’s Colorado Oil and Gas Association luncheon, Colorado’s gubernatorial candidates, Democrat Jared Polis and Republican Walker Stapleton, squared off on the issue of oil and gas development. To the surprise of some in the room, Polis claimed that he was opposed to Initiative 97, the 2,500 setback ballot initiative that would kill the oil and gas industry.

Why is this a surprise? Because he was a huge financial backer of a nearly-identical initiative a few years ago. The biggest difference? A mere 500-feet, which would be almost as problematic.

According to the Denver Business Journal from 2016:

“The study said its forecast on the effects of a 2,000-foot setback included: A $6 billion to $11 billion drop in Colorado’s gross domestic product; A loss of 33,000 and 62,000 jobs between 2015 and 2030.”

Yeah. Still a problem. If Polis was serious about opposing this measure and not just giving lip service, he would join the oil and gas industry in campaigning against this job-killer.

Polis has really painted himself into a corner here. Because he has come out against Initiative 97, now his environmental base doesn’t trust him. Because he initially tried to kill oil and gas development in Colorado, the oil and gas industry would be crazy to trust him.

So, who exactly is voting for Polis?