We don’t have time this morning to link to all the occasions in the last year where Republicans like gubernatorial candidate Scott McInnis have claimed that new oil and gas drilling protections which took effect last spring are “killing the industry” and “costing jobs.” They’ve said it so many times that it would be, well, a lot of links. We’ve tried to be diligent about pointing out the more egregious misrepresentations of the facts when they come to our attention (see: “Josh Penry Just Makes Stuff Up” and many other posts from us and community diarists), but frankly, it just gets repeated over and over. Sheer voluminous repetition has kept this discredited talking point in play well past the point where it responsibly should be.
Thoroughly discredited too, as the Grand Junction Sentinel reports:
Despite concerns about the impact of its new oil and gas rules, Colorado approved more drilling permits last year than surrounding states. [Pols emphasis]
Colorado issued 5,159 drilling permits last year, down from a record 8,027 in 2008. However, it still approved more than neighboring states, edging out Wyoming, which issued 5,106, according to information prepared by the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission for the Colorado legislature’s Joint Budget Committee.
Also, 1,487 wells were drilled in the state last year through Dec. 23, exceeding second-place Wyoming’s 896 in a comparison of Rocky Mountain states by Anderson Reports Inc.
In a presentation to the oil and gas commission Monday, commission Director Dave Neslin also pointed to a report by IHS Inc. that showed Colorado issuing 1,273 permits, not including refiled permits, for the second half of the year. That compared to 825 for Wyoming, which posted the second-highest amount in the region.
“That suggests the rules are not having a negative effect on permitting,” Neslin said.
The state’s new, stricter rules started taking effect in April. Critics said they contributed to the state’s drilling decline last year. State officials say falling energy prices were to blame.
Neslin also is encouraged by rising permit activity in Colorado every month since September…
Okay, real fast like, what did Josh Penry say about this?
“Colorado is losing significantly more [energy activity] than any other state,” said Senate Minority Leader Josh Penry, (R) Grand Junction. “There’s a strong argument to be made it’s because of these rules.”
And what does Cory Gardner say?
“We plucked the goose that laid the golden egg,” said Gardner, who proposed leaving options on the table for energy rather than removing them.
The “job killing rules” as Gardner referred to the state regulations, are driving oil and gas business out of the state.
And what does Scott McInnis say?
Former Colorado congressman McInnis, the GOP front-runner in the governor’s race, believes the regulations are out of balance and have cost Colorado high-paying jobs and tax revenue, said campaign spokesman Sean Duffy.
Folks, we know that some of you think we’re a partisan outfit, but we submit to you that on the issue of Colorado’s new drilling rules, the yawning gap between reality and what some politicians are insistently telling you is not, or at least should not be, a partisan issue. What you have is very simple, clear-cut dishonesty. The facts say one thing and some politicians, who happen to be in the same party, say something very different. It’s the sort of laid-bare mendacity that, in a just world, Karen Crummy would find at least as interesting as Dick Wadhams’ scandal of the week.
Who will be the first reporter, now that the facts are indisputably on the table, to let Scott McInnis and Cory Gardner get away with disparaging those “job-killing rules?” Who will continue to uncritically let politicians get away with lying to their faces and still call themselves “journalists?” We can’t say exactly, but it will be on our front page the moment it happens.
We don’t like being this direct, it’s not really what we do here, but Colorado Media Matters is out of business–and it’s way past time for all parties involved to be reminded of their basic responsibility to the truth.