Last night a “reporter” employed by the right-wing Independence Institute, Sherrie Peif, Tweeted out from the Capitol that a large natural gas project had been withdrawn from consideration by the energy company responsible, DCP Midstream, due to “uncertainty” regarding new legislation to regulate the oil and gas industry making its way through the Colorado General Assembly.
According to @weldgov DCP Energy has withdrawn it’s application with Weld County for a $350 million compressor plant east of Kersey because of uncertainty with new Colorado regulations.
Check back to Complete Colorado for full details.
— Sherrie Peif (@CompleteSherrie) March 26, 2019
A claim immediately picked up and recirculated by political groups opposed to Senate Bill 19-181:
— Colorado Rising Action (@CORisingAction) March 26, 2019
There’s just one problem, as the Greeley Tribune’s Tyler Silvy reports today: none of this is true.
DCP Midstream has no intention of reducing investments in Weld County, and it did not pull its application for a $350 million gas processing facility…
“We are pursuing a variety of options related to compression,” Sandberg said. “We pulled a permit for one compressor station. The remainder of the project has not been canceled. The pulling of the compressor had nothing to do with 181.”
DCP has invested billions of dollars in Weld County, including its Grand Parkway — 62 miles of steel pipeline just completed last year. Sandberg said those investments are not stopping any time soon.
This is far from the only example of blatant disinformation being spread to sow fear over passage of this legislation. The truth is that the energy industry has recently suffered far more from low natural gas prices than any regulatory burden. While grassroots outreach campaigns funded by the oil and gas industry warn of billions of dollars in lost tax revenue, the truth is there’s no way to predict that–and the industry’s estimates predicate on a total shutdown of the oil and gas industry, which is not going to happen, are completely worthless.
In this case, the energy company was nice enough to admit that their lobbyist was not truthful:
Sandberg acknowledged [DCP Midstream lobbyist Patrick] Groom said the company was pulling out due to regulatory and other reasons, “but ultimately, it’s not related to SB 181.” [Pols emphasis]
Take note when this happens, because it doesn’t very often.