So They’re Going To Stop Lying Then, Right?

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.


27 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. WestSloper says:

    All you have to do is drive down I-70 between New Castle and DeBeque to notice drilling rigs popping up everywhere. Want ads for oil-and-gas workers are increasing, and fracking trucks are again zooming up and down the local highways.

    Gas drilling is definitely on the rise in the Gas Patch.

    O&G guys here say (off the record) that business is picking up with national supplies dwindling because of the cold winter and new pipelines to the east opening up. Some are drilling under the higher prices locked in the Futures market from a few years ago.

    Gov. Ritter got blamed for the slowdown when it was the national economy that hit natural gas prices and slowed drilling. Now that there is an increase of business, will Ritter be credited? Unfortunately, propaganda is a one-way street.

  2. Middle of the Road says:

    have their talking points in order and aren’t deviating one iota, not even in the face of the truth.

  3. Republican 36 says:

    Reality is not an option in today’s Republican Party. Ideology governs all debates. To the Republican activists, the sky is red because ideology says the sky is red. The objective provable facts are irrelevant.

    For more proof of this, read Mr. Schmidt’s new book about Gov. Palin during the last presidential election. He served as one of Senator McCain’s chief strategists. According to his book, Gov. Palin believed Saddam Hussein was responsible for the 9/11 attack. She couldn’t articulate why there are two Koreas or what the basic function of the Federal Reserve is. He described how she continually made statements that were factually and easily proved wrong. And yet she is the leading candidate for the Republican nomination in 2012.

    There is a real disconnect from reality in today’s Republican activist core. There is an unwillingness to deal with real facts and real causes when facts and causation don’t fit ironclad ideology.

    We can’t trust the government to people who think like that.

    • RedGreenRedGreen says:

      Schmidt made some of these remarks on 60 Minutes on Sunday, but he doesn’t have a new book about Palin. The new book is Game Change, by  John Heilemann and Mark Halperin, published this week. Let’s keep the facts straight, especially in a post about politicians having trouble sticking to the facts.

      • BlueCat says:

        is that so much of the Republican base sees her level of ignorance as her highest virtue.

        If blinds faith, whether religious faith or faith in the talking points handed down from on high, is the ideal then independent pursuit of fact based knowledge is morally suspect. Palin’s stunning breadth of worldly ignorance makes her close enough to immaculate in that regard to be worthy of the utmost veneration. She’s the High Priestess of the non-reality based world.  

        • The Longest Line says:

          Mensa membership conceding

          tell me why and how are all the stupid people breeding

          Watson, it’s really elementary

          the industrial revolution

          has flipped the bitch on evolution

          the benevolent and wise are being thwarted, ostracized,

          what a bummer

          the world keeps getting dumber

          insensitivity is standard

          and faith is being fancied over reason

          From “The Idiots are Taking Over” by NOFX

        • BlueCat says:

          I can’t seem to catch goofs that don’t trigger spell check anymore.  That would be blind faith.

    • Froward69 says:

      Like my sig line says Reality has a liberal Bias. republicans have lost touch not just with reality but also with Truth.

      it is amazing to me as to how republicans not just get away with it but how eventually it becomes perceived fact. no matter how many times it is found to be untrue.

  4. WesternSlopeThought says:

    Tutti Fruitti, ah Scooty, a Tutti Fruitti, ah Scooty.

    McInnis will continue to ride the Penry lie as long as he thinks the people of Colorado will believe it.

    From Scooty’s campaign site

    “Scott McInnis said that Governor Ritter’s punitive rules on oil and natural gas drilling are further to the left than key Democrats, and pointed to Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell’s willingness to embrace the industry in his state as a prime example.  Bill Ritter’s policies have directly chased jobs from Colorado, and left many communities struggling.  Meanwhile, Pennsylvania is reaping the rewards of new jobs as the new hotspot for drilling.”

    From RigZone 11 Jan 2010

    “Drilling of oil and natural gas wells and permits issued tumbled in 2009 across Pennsylvania as prices for both fuels plummeted, according to state Department of Environmental Protection figures.”

    Governor Ritter has been THE leader in America in showing other states how sensible rules can both protect the population and accommodate drilling.  

    The Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection is now wanting to get caught up to Governor Ritter’s vision.  

    “We are increasing oversight over this industry, because it is imperative that as this industry grows, oversight must accompany it…”

    Scooty might want to keep comparing Colorado to other gas patch states, but it is clear, as reports like those issued this week show, the canard of rules causing a slow down will no longer be a piece of Penry flimflamery useful to his cause.

    “The days of McCain and McInnis are over.”   -Don Bain, former chairman of the Colorado Republican Party

    • Froward69 says:

      Website. it has a picture of trees in the fore ground and desolate sand dunes in the background.

      seems to me this pic is the subconscious vision scott mcInnis has for our future should he be elected..


  5. GOPwarrior says:

    We don’t “think” so, we know so and horseshit posts like this prove it.

    Dems good, Republicans bad, but were not a partisan outfit! You make me laugh so hard.

    • MADCO says:

      that the decrease in production was the result of the regulation and not from the overall market decrease and factors unique to Colorado.

      I looked- couldn’t find any.

      WHich ones did you find?

    • Republican 36 says:

      The question isn’t “horseshit posts like this.” The question for you is simple. Don’t the facts from the Colorado Oil & Gas Commission prove the Republicans, including Messrs. Penry, McInnis and Gardner are wrong and have been wrong since they began stating the new rules drove oil and gas drilling out of Colorado.

      Ideology has the virtue of simplicity but it rarely is the basis of good public policy because it represents general propositions or values that may very well not be true in specific factual situations. Thats why the devil is always in the details (the facts).

      • MADCO says:

        “Ideology has the virtue of simplicity…”

        You say this like it’s a bad thing.  🙂

        In my neighborhood and other R circles  the complaints are that D’s (liberals in general) always want to make everything so complicated and then argue from an intellectually superior point of view. (I plead 1/2 guilty).  But we can’t answer simple questions.

        Questions like if the gov’t was capable of running health care, why is Medicare so screwed up? Or do I really want my healthcare run by the same people that run the DMV? or other simple questions.

        I often smile and get more cookies at this point.

        If pressed I apologize for the world being so complicated for them, but progressive taxes make more sense.  (John Rawls – Veil of Ignorance)

        If really pressed, I’ll engage. What emerges is frequently a more complicated political ideology than they want.  

        Truth is- it is what is.

        I had this conversation last night at the kids’ practice – and when pressed for a simple answer to a simple question, I said let me ask the question (ht SSG_Dan) and posed the question of why it is so hard for vets to get access to VA benefits. ANd suggested a presumption of qualified and then a review as/when  needed after. Simple problem, simple solution – saves beau coup on admin.

        Suspicion and conviction that there would then be too much incentive for vets to fake claims.  Oh, so these patriotic Merican’s are going to be moivated to become coriminal to maek $178 a month and make it 6 o r 9 months sooner than they might other wise?  Uh-huh

        • Republican 36 says:

          it rarely has considered the facts or the nuances which almost always make a difference. Going back to the oil and gas regulations what happended in this case was the fact the operating drill rig count began to fall drastically the year before the new rules were approved. The Republicans took the ideological position that regulations always hinder economic growth or cause it to decline, and therefore there could be no other possible explanation for the drop in drilling except fear of the proposed regulations. Here in Colorado, Republicans like Messrs. McInnis, Penry and Gardner absolutely refused to admit that the glut on the gas market or lack of pipeline capacity had anyhting to do with the decline in drilling. They said this in the face of the obvious objective fact that drilling was declining at about the same rate throughout the oil patch. In other words, in other states where there were no new proposed rules drilling was declining too at virtually the same rate.

          It is now obvious their ideologically based opinion was just plain wrong as most people who paid attention to the issue knew from the beginning. The Republicans her ein colorado simply refused to address or consider facts which obviously pointed to a different conclusion. Even the oil and gas industry publications said the glut and the resulting decline in prices was the root cause of the decline in operating drillling rigs.

          Another example is former U.S. Representative and the 2008 Republican U.S. senate candidate Bob Schafer who made the following statements on his campaign website in 2000:

          “Republicans defend religious freedom. Democrats incinerate religious zealots and their children.’

          “Republicans are for a clean environment. Democrats set big forest fires in New Mexico.”

          Can anyone take statements like that seriously. Those kind of statements are silly. Yet, Mr. Schafer put this on his campaign website on the worldwide web during his last campaign for the U.S. House in 2000.

          It is the simple fact many Republican candidates either refuse to recognize facts or they make them up like Mr. Schafer did. People with that kind of mindset, whether Republican or Democrat, simply don’t have any business running our public affairs. Reality is important.    

  6. dmindgo says:

    This is a basic, defining issue in Colorado.  The oil & gas companies have been here for decades and have a track record.  Many volunteers have been studying this issue for decades as well.  Of course there is the underlying NIMBY issue but in this case there are enough pesky facts that make me go back to basics:  first, prove that the changes to the natural world will not cause long-lasting harm, to people, communities, wildlife, or the land.  Without that absolute proof, rules and regulations make sense.  Let’s argue about the specifics but this misdirection on the part of elected Republicans is destructive.  Colorado Pols has been a voice of reason on this issue and please keep at it!

  7. Early WormEarly Worm says:

    Next GOP talking point: Russia’s gas output declined by 12.4% in 2009 as compared to 2008.  These state regulations are insidious.  Colorado Dems are not only destroying the state’s economy, but the world economy as well.      

    • ajb says:

      They get their talking points from NPR.

      (I heard that story this afternoon and immediately thought of posting, except I was in my car driving daughter from A to B and back again.)

    • Duke Coxdukeco1 says:

      we can figure out a way to infiltrate the Martian government, we’re going to put the Solar System Economy into a tailspin, as well. No more drilling on Venus! Hands off of Saturn ( I started to say Uranus, but thought better of it). And then…the total destruction of the Galactic economy!! Bwaahaahaaaa!

    • ardy39 says:

      Headline Moscow:

      Ritter and the Dems Destroy O&G in Russia

      In Colorado, not so Much

      Gas production in Russia declined over 12% in 2009 compared to 2008. Meanwhile, following the implementation of “onerous” and “punitive” new rules in Colorado, gas production in that state is projected to increase by 6% (see slide 15) in 2009 compared to 2008.

      When asked to comment, lame-duck State Sen. Josh Penry said, “WTF?” and later, wistfully commented “I miss Kathy Hall.”

      (OK, maybe the second paragraph didn’t actually play out as above, but the first paragraph is based on evidence that can be verified and/or challenged.)  

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