National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)/Wikimedia Commons

It’s Irresponsible to Discount the Oil and Gas Industry’s Response to Proposition 112

With just a scant few weeks until a pivotal Colorado election, there’s more and more coverage being heaped on a controversial ballot initiative, Proposition 112.

Prop 112 aims to enforce a statewide 2,500-foot setback rule that would prohibit any oil and gas project operating within 2,500 feet “buffer zones around ‘vulnerable areas’ and ‘occupied structures.’” That may sound protective, but the impending legislation has much more nefarious underpinnings.

With each passing day, another new editorial or news piece is posted in an effort to support the passage of this potentially devastating law. As election days creep closer and closer, however, a familiar tactic is being employed to undercut the legitimacy of anti-Proposition 112 statements.

‘Real People’ Care About Passing Proposition 112

At the end of September, a journalist at Denver’s Westword posted a piece in which she inferred that three organizations crusading against Proposition 112 were funded by oil and gas companies and conservative political advocacy groups. Meanwhile, heroic Prop 112 supporters, Colorado Rising, were funded by everyday citizens.
The implication being that while those who supported Proposition 112 were running a grassroots campaign, it was big oil and gas pulling the strings to eliminate the bill. It’s an old trick that gets trotted out every election year as a means to make anti-business legislation seem noble.

Of course some of the people behind oil and gas projects are supporting the fight against Proposition 112; they have a vested interest in the future of Colorado as well.

Every Level of the Industry Opposes Proposition 112

There’s a running poll going on in the Denver Business Journal that seeks a impression of what’s going on in the minds of readers. At the moment, a staggering 93 percent of respondents oppose the legislation.

That might not sound like a diverse sample of Colorado citizens, and quite honestly, it may not be. That said, critics of Proposition 112 would do well to focus not on the poll’s results, but on the conversation brewing in the article’s comments section.

Representatives from every level of the oil and gas industry have taken to the comments to plea for critics to simply engage them in conversation about Proposition 112. Ask questions. Register complaints. Just talk. It’s a side of the oil and gas industry not often highlighted in the ongoing quest to demonize Colorado’s energy sector.

Opposing Prop 112 Is Supporting Colorado

By now, you’ve sure heard the frightening statistics that go hand-in-hand with the passage of Proposition 112. It could devastate the state’s economy and put thousands of Coloradans out of jobs, even those people working outside the energy sector.

Proposition 112 is toxic legislation for everyone in Colorado, not just those working in a board room. Colorado oil and gas isn’t just people sitting in a boardroom, it is people in the field, mid-level office employees, and so much more.

Oil and gas is one of the major factors driving Colorado’s economy. It’s not a faceless entity, it is your friends and neighbors. Passage of Proposition 112 means jeopardizing more than just someone’s stock price, and don’t let yourself be convinced otherwise.

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