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Denver CBS 4 explains Colorado’s Proposition 112

With a little more than a week to the midterm elections, the American Energy Alliance would like to take one more opportunity to remind our audience about an important ballot initiative in the state of Colorado: Proposition 112. If passed, 112 would require a 2,500-foot barrier between new oil and gas drilling projects and any occupied structure or loosely defined “vulnerable area” in the state of Colorado.

Recently, Denver CBS 4’s Shaun Boyd discussed the topic on her popular political fact-checking segment “Reality Check.” The American Energy Alliance encourages voters in the state of Colorado to view the segment here, as it offers a brief, yet thorough, explanation of the economic harm Proposition 112 would cause the state of Colorado if it were to pass on Election Day.

A recent poll from the University of Colorado’s American Political Research Lab shows that voters are evenly split in their support for Proposition 112. For this reason, we want to highlight an important part of the CBS 4 segment; mainly that it draws attention to the wide-ranging bipartisan opposition to Proposition 112, which can be attributed to the severe economic harm it would cause to the state of Colorado.

The segment walks us through claims being made in a television ad featuring prominent opponents of the ballot initiative. In the ad, Democrat Ken Salazar, the former U.S. Senator of Colorado and the former Secretary of the Interior to the Obama Administration points out that Proposition 112 is “effectively a ban on oil and natural gas in Colorado.” It then cuts to the former Republican Governor of Colorado Bill Owens where he explains, “112 will cost thousands of good jobs across our state.” CBS 4’s Boyd calls each of these claims “alarming and true.”

Boyd also points out that other opponents of the proposition include environmentalists like former Colorado Governor Bill Ritter who called the proposal a “keep-it-in-the-ground effort,” that was “arrived at in a very non-Colorado way… without dialogue or debate, by a group of advocates.”

The segment then goes on to expose other important factors of this initiative, including this report from the Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission, which explained that 112 would ban fracking on at least 85 percent of non-federal land in Colorado. Colorado Rising, the group responsible for bringing 112 to the ballot, has disputed this claim. But as the segment explains, the supporters of 112 are relying on a single academic paper from an assistant professor at the Colorado School of Mines, which Boyd explains, “included big caveats and has since been debunked by his colleagues.”

For a more detailed analysis on Proposition 112, we also encourage readers to listen to a recent episode of our partner organization’s podcast where IER’s staff discussed the proposition with Kelly Sloan of the Centennial Institute at Colorado Christian University to discuss the initiative.

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