Harv Teitelbaum: Opponents of Prop. 112 are deceptive
October 26, 2018
I'd like to thank the Steamboat Pilot & Today for running an overview on Proposition 112 in the Oct. 23 edition.
While I'm sure there are some there who feel 2,500 foot setback is too much, the majority of the experts, scientists and researchers on the toxic effects of high density fracking who feel 2,500 feet is inappropriate actually feel the distance should be much greater in order to protect families and kids. For example, research done at the University of Colorado and the Colorado School of Public Health found statistically relevant results for childhood leukemia at distances up to 10 miles from such operations.
Another clarification that must be made is the authors' unfortunate inclusion of the industry front group, “Common Sense Policy Roundtable," as a supposedly legitimate reference. I wish the authors had researched this group first.
I did. When they first appeared and the industry labeled CSPR "independent." Number one among the special interests lurking behind the front are the notorious Koch Brothers. Also on the list, the anti-constitutional American Legislative Exchange Council, which gets corporations and politicians together in secret meeting to exchange wanted legislation for campaign contributions.Rounding out the industry backers of CSPR are Vital for Colorado, another industry front group, and Josh Penry, former state senator, now industry lobbyist.
The industry's economic figures and wording are also intentionally deceptive. Direct employment in the industry, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, averaged about 29,000 for the first seven months of 2018, almost exactly 1 percent of the state's total labor force. The industry counts such tenuously "industry-supported” jobs as the convenience store clerk who sells a soft drink to an out-of-state well worker.
They also exaggerate their taxes. Due to a sweetheart deal from the legislature, they can deduct property taxes from their severance taxes. Since well production declines rapidly over time, after about two or three years, they pay no taxes.
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They're also careful to say "surface" land when complaining about access limitations under 112. That's because operators can access many cubic miles of underground area from each well pad, even before the coming arrival of "super laterals," which will extend out multiple miles horizontally in any direction.
Indeed, a just-released Colorado School of Mines analysis found that, even if only using one mile laterals, "42 percent of (Colorado's) non-federal subsurface would be accessible, or nearly three times the available surface area" under Proposition 112.
Sierra Club Colorado, Oil and Gas Campaign
Colorado Rising advisory board