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SPONSORED: New study defines the economic and fiscal impacts of Initiative 97

Author: Tim Brown - August 7, 2018 - Updated: August 7, 2018

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2,500ft Setback Proposal would cost billions of dollars and thousands of jobs

A proposed ballot measure to increase setbacks five times the distance of what is currently required for oil and gas operations will cost Coloradans more than 100,000 jobs by 2030 and have a devastating impact on the economy, according to a new study and economic impact analysis conducted by the REMI Partnership and reviewed by Dr. Ian Lange and Dr. Braeton Smith with the Colorado School of Mines Mineral and Energy Economics Program.

The study, “Increasing the Oil and Gas Setback Requirement to 2,500-feet in Colorado: An Economic and Fiscal Impact Analysis,” evaluates the proposed Ballot Initiative 97, Setback Requirement for Oil and Gas Development. If passed by voters, the initiative would increase the setback requirement for new oil and gas activity on non-federal land from 500 feet to 2,500 from homes and 1,000 feet to 2,500 from hospitals and other multi-occupied structures.

A recent analysis by the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission found that the measure would eliminate 54% of all surface land in Colorado to new production.  But over 85 percent of all new oil and gas development has occurred within that area over the past 3-years.  By losing over 85% of new production going forward, roughly $258 million in state and local tax revenue would be lost during the first year alone, according to the REMI Partnership study.

“If passed, this initiative will have a devasting impact on our economy,” said Earl Wright, Chairman of the Common Sense Policy Roundtable (CSPR) Board of Directors. “This measure will decimate a significant sector of our economy and eliminate more than $1 billion in tax revenue by 2030.”

The study also predicts the staggering loss of as many as 147,800 jobs across all sectors of the economy by 2030.

“If ever there were a reason to oppose a measure, the job losses associated with the passage of this proposal is it,” said Mike Kopp, President and CEO of Colorado Concern. “The number of job losses resulting from the passage of this measure will surpass the entire population of Pueblo. The negative impacts of this initiative are so far reaching, it will take Colorado decades to recover.”

About the REMI Partnership: Common Sense Policy Roundtable, Colorado Concern, Colorado Association of REALTORS®, Colorado Bankers Association, and Denver South Economic Development Partnership have partnered to develop independent, fact-based analysis that quantifies the broader economic impacts associated with policy changes. The partnership has provided Colorado lawmakers, policy makers, business leaders, and citizens with greater insight into the economic impact of public policy decisions that face the state and surrounding regions. Read more about our latest study here.

Tim Brown