A few weeks ago, we took note of a story in the Grand Junction Sentinel on the number of drilling permits issued in the state of Colorado during 2009. As most of you know, it’s become a repetitive mantra among Republican candidates for office this year that new rules governing oil and gas drilling have “killed jobs,” and led to the energy industry “fleeing the state.”
Which, as the Sentinel reported, is totally false: Colorado in fact issued more drilling permits than surrounding states last year. As early as last spring, the charge that energy companies have curtailed drilling in response to these rules, as opposed to a host of other economic and energy industry factors, has been soundly refuted.
Every time a new story is published that reveals these breathless claims about the drilling rules to be false, we think to ourselves, “Okay. Now they have to stop saying this, right?” After all, it would be nuts to continue making claims that have been thoroughly debunked in the press, wouldn’t it?
Evidently not. Here’s an AP wire story that will, if you know the facts, leave you screaming into a paper bag in apoplexy:
Republican Scott McInnis is pledging to revoke an executive order that allowed state employees to form unions and rewrite new oil and gas rules if he is elected governor.
McInnis, speaking at a mining conference Tuesday, railed against oil and gas regulations pushed by Gov. Bill Ritter’s administration. The former Colorado congressman claimed the regulations are to blame for the loss of tens of thousands of jobs in the state…
McInnis also criticized Hickenlooper, who used to work in the oil and gas industry, for not speaking out against the new energy rules. The revamped rules that took effect last April drove jobs out of Colorado and plunged the state to “rock bottom” among energy-producing states, McInnis contended. [Pols emphasis]
Seriously, how the hell do you even do this with a straight face? How do you keep repeating the same lie over and over, after it’s been proven false? We see even the AP’s Judith Kohler, often a friend of brevity over the crucial details, had to intervene:
…[W]hile the number of drilling permits in Colorado last year dropped to 5,159 from the record 8,027 in 2008, the state led its energy-producing neighbors. Wyoming issued 5,106 permits, New Mexico issued fewer than 2,500 and Utah approved 1,167 permits, according to the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, the main regulatory body.
State regulators said 1,487 new wells were drilled in Colorado last year, compared with 896 in Wyoming and 597 in North Dakota…
Translation: at the beginning of this story, Scott McInnis lied to you. What McInnis said about Colorado “plunging to rock-bottom” among energy-producing states is a lie.
We’re frankly tired of writing it, but then the same boilerplate quote pops up in another paper. What is it going to take for the lies to stop, and an honest discussion about the state’s future to begin?
For more great commentary on this issue, read this post from our community expert, which we’re not trying to step on–we just want the full extent of this mendacity front and center today.