Job killing! Fast Track! Opposition to New Oil and Gas Regulations Looks Like 2008

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

The oil and gas industry, and its Republican allies, are returning to the tactics they used in 2008 when they opposed new oil-and-gas regulations proposed by the Colorado Oil and Gas Commission, which had been reconfigured the year before.

Today, as Democrats prepare to, among other things, make health and safety the commission’s priority, opponents are saying the legislation will kill jobs and is being fast-tracked.

In 2008, it was largely the same. A Republican Senate news release quoted GOP senate leaders Greg Brophy and Josh Penry, quoting Penry as “critic of the fast-tracking” of the regulations and saying:

Josh Penry in 2008: “I don’t know if the oil and gas commission reads the paper, but we don’t need another job-killer right now,” said Penry, of Grand Junction. “There has been a lot of talk at the State Capitol in the last six weeks about creating jobs,” Penry said. “This is a litmus test for all of that bold talk. Do we really want to create jobs, or risk strangling the only industry that is moving the ball forward in our economy right now?”

By all accounts, the oil and gas industry has mostly boomed in Colorado since 2008. Yet, in 2008, like today, the oil and gas groups staged a rally with industry workers and speakers citing potential job losses. A GOP news release at the time featured a quote from then State Rep. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma):

Another 2008 GOP News Release

2008 GOP News Release: When Rep. Cory Gardner, R-Yuma, reached the podium he took an informal survey of the crowd and asked, “How many of you like jobs?” where, unsurprisingly, the whole crowd raised their hands. Gardner jubilantly responded, “Well, I do too–but if we continue down this path, too many of them are at stake.”

Rally organizers stated that this year’s oil-and-gas demonstration would feature “energy workers and supporters from across Colorado … to protect and defend the hundreds of thousands of Colorado jobs supported by the state’s oil and gas industry,” according to a statement posted on ColoradoPolitics. Colorado Republicans said the “crushing legislation will devastate Colorado’s energy industry.”

The Colorado Petroleum Council tweeted from today’s rally, “Today hundreds of employees showed up to the State Capitol to stand up for their jobs! We are energy proud!”

Today’s Oil-and-Gas Rally (Photo: Colorado Petroleum Council)

Despite the fierce opposition in 2008, Dan Haley, director of the Colorado Oil and Gas Association, has made it sound as if the current regulations were promulgated with support from his industry, even though the were not.

“We have the strictest regulations in the country and they have been updated dozens and dozens of times with bipartisan support and the involvement of countless stakeholders,” Haley said in a statement last week, referring to the regulations that were once so opposed by his own industry.

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  1. Duke CoxDuke Cox says:

    Their arguments are specious…their history is revised…their tactics are mean and ugly…their pockets have no bottom.

    They will target whomever they decide is vulnerable and attack them. They will threaten those they think they can intimidate and buy the ones who have a price. Never be surprised by how low they will stoop.

    Their strength is in their money and relentless brutality…not intelligence. They are so accustomed to winning, their greatest weakness is arrogance. They can be beaten.

  2. MADCO says:

    But I like having a car and eating the occasional cow and if the sacrifice is the rich get richer, there are emissions and even periodic explosions…. it seems worth it.

  3. DENependent says:

    The thing I, and my Republican father, do not get is where is the concern for rural land owners in all this? Why are we creating jobs by destroying the value homes? These absentee mineral right owners do not have to care because they live in the city, but my father and mother actually live out in Elbert County. They have for 40+ years and now some company wants to come in and start an industrial operation next door destroying what they have invested in their home and land. He is incredibly frustrated with the way the party seems to value the property rights of big corporations over his. He is not even saying "Don't drill here ever," he just wants his rights to be as respected as those of oil drillers.

    • CDW says:

      Explain Citizens United to your father.  That's the conservative  U.S. supreme court decision that ruled corporations are persons. There is no limit to the amount of money they can spend to get their way with politicians.  Corporations have more money which buys them more rights than you and I have .

      • PseudonymousPseudonymous says:

        Just a quick clarification.  Corporate personhood has been around a lot longer than Citizens United.  Although there's not one case that establishes this idea, generally it becomes prevalent with Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Rail Road which extends 14th Amendment protections to corporations in 1886.  The cancer of corporate personhood has been a plague on US society for more than 130 years.

        Citizens United merely said that people (persons) engaging in political spending on advocacy is speech protected by the 1st Amendment.

         I think both are wrong, but the diseases are different and have different cures.

      • Duke CoxDuke Cox says:

        Sadly…you are completely right. 

        Money is speech…

        Corporations are persons…

        It makes the corporate voice the dominant voice. The way to beat the industry is to enable the people of Colorado to speak. The combined voices of a massive coalition of citizens drowned out the voice of money…It happened in 2008. It can happen again.

      • DENependent says:

        Citizens United was only decided in 2009 and drilling without regard to land owner rights has been going on for a lot longer than just the last decade.

        And even if Citizens United had been decided in 1909 instead of 2009, people still have to believe what the corporations are saying. If I had an unlimited budget to advertise on Fox could I somehow buy the belief of Republicans for a "right to hike" so that people could cross their land with minimal compensation?

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