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RBC I A new economic impact analysis confirms that the proposed ballot initiative for 2,500 foot setbacks of oil and gas wells would have a dramatically negative impact on the Colorado economy.
The study, commissioned by the Metro Denver Economic Development Corp. and completed by the Business Research Division at the University of Colorado’s Leeds School of Business, shows the ballot initiative would cost the state 54,000 jobs and more than $7 billion in gross domestic product within five years.
This impact would hit the hardest in rural Colorado, one of the biggest beneficiaries of recent oil and gas development, according to Chad Vorthmann, executive vice president of Colorado Farm Bureau.
“Our analysis has shown the anti-oil and gas initiatives would have a huge negative impact on the productive value of Colorado’s farmland,” he said. “This new study confirms our worst fears and casts a dark cloud over our future rural and agricultural economy in Colorado should these initiatives pass in November.”
Colorado’s farmers and ranchers benefit greatly from the responsible production of domestic oil and natural gas—both from direct involvement with the development of oil and natural gas, and from the boost it provides to the entire state economy.
CFB analysis shows that the impact of a 2,500-foot setback could drive down the value of farmland in some of the most productive food-producing regions in the state. In a scenario with a 2,500-foot setback in place, Weld County irrigated farmland could be devalued by as much as 71 percent. Moreover, the value of crops from the same land could be driven down by as much as 50 percent.
“No business could survive a fifty percent cut in the value of its cores assets, and agriculture is no exception” Vorthmann said. “Colorado’s farmers are again at the mercy of radical activist groups.
“This time they intend to ban oil and gas production, but either don’t know or don’t care about the other Coloradans they will hurt in the process,” he said. “I urge all Colorado voters to vote no on these anti-energy and anti-agriculture ballot initiatives in November.”