Disingenuous Republican Freakout In 3…2…1…

The AP reports via the Craig Daily Press:

As natural gas prices continue to drop, the recent nationwide boom in drilling is slowing. Drillers don’t make money if prices go too low – and drilling wells isn’t cheap…

When the shale drilling boom was starting in 2008 the average price for a unit of gas was about $8. Two years ago it was down to $5.50, and now it’s dropped to about $2.50. Part of the reason is that the shale gas formations became productive more rapidly than expected, as thousands of new wells have been drilled nationwide.

Industry reports note that the national count of active new gas drilling rigs fell to 775 in early February, down from about 1,500 in 2008.

The laws of supply and demand operating as they do, the good news about the glut of nationwide natural gas production is a low price to end consumers–which should eventually grow consumption, and be good for producers as well in the long run.

Above all, notice in today’s AP story the absence of any mention of tighter regulation as a reason for reduced new drilling. In fact the word “regulation” doesn’t appear once! You’re going to want to keep this in mind when Senate Minority Leader-turned energy lobbyist Josh Penry writes his next column mendaciously blaming Democrats and regulations on drilling as the reason fewer rigs are operating in Colorado–or a “policy paper” to be read like a script at the Capitol. Seriously, being the “free market” supply and demand experts, it’s kind of laughable when energy-friendly Republicans expect their audience to cast market realities aside, and use any such supply and demand-based ebb and flow to attack political opponents.

Not that we expect the facts to slow anybody down, just keep them in mind when it happens.

14 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. ArapaGOP says:

    That’s cute, trying to apply today’s news to three years ago. That’s not going to work. In 2008, drilling rig counts in Colorado dropped faster than elsewhere because of Gov. Bill Ritter’s onerous drilling regulations. Just because Hickenlooper has not been as bad, and other factors sometimes matter, does not mean that Ritter is vindicated in any way for nearly ruling the industry out of Colorado.

    So predictable Pols. Waiting for news reports to take out of context and settle your scores.

    • Gilpin Guy says:

      The same economic factors of supply and demand were at work then too.

      Liar

    • ajb says:

      this is proof that Arap is a paid shill.

      • ArapaGOP says:

        How does an opinion automatically make me a shill?

        • ajb says:

          There’s no correlation, much less causation, between oil and gas activity in CO and regulations. There is, however, a strong correlation between such activity and the respective commodity prices.

          You’re not an idiot, so you know this. The only reasonable reason why you would lie so blatantly is because you’re paid to do so.  

        • BlueCat says:

          You can look it up.  It’s cute how you Repugs love to use good old supply and demand fluctuations to cry foul on regulations that have nothing whatever to do with the losses now or in the past. That’s when you’re not just out right lying about the situation in Colorado compared to neighboring states.

    • gertie97 says:

      Through the recession, Colorado’s rig counts stayed higher than those in Wyoming, Utah, South Dakota and Montana, among others.

      Don’t take my word for it. Go to the Baker-Hughes website and look for yourself. Baker-Hughes, by the way, is one of the biggest oil & gas consulting firms in the world.

      The crap that our drilling fell below nearby states is one of the biggest lies to come out of this recession.

      As I said, go look for yourself.

    • Colorado Pols says:

      Check out this post from February 2010. Specifically, check this from the Ft. Collins Coloradoan:

      After years of claiming Colorado’s new oil and gas regulations will chase the energy industry and its jobs from the state, oil and gas operators and an industry group are now saying the rules will have little impact on future energy development here…

      …The new rules, which took effect last April and were developed by Gov. Bill Ritter and his administration, require energy companies to employ “best management practices” to protect wildlife and consult with state wildlife officials about sensitive habitat before drilling. They also require companies to follow a slate of other requirements to safeguard the environment…

      …Oil and gas activity dropped last year from its boom days in 2008, but 2009 saw more oil and gas activity in Colorado than any other Rocky Mountain state. [Pols emphasis]

      To recap, in case that was all too fast for you…

      Ritter’s “regulations” took effect in 2009, which would have made it difficult for them to have influenced drilling in 2008. Even so, Colorado led the entire region in drilling in 2009.

    • DavidThi808 says:

      Because “Gov. Bill Ritter’s onerous drilling regulations” are still in effect under “Hickenlooper has not been as bad”.

      I realize you’re just trying to tap dance your way out of this – but at least come up with something even a 3rd grader can see makes no sense.

    • Republican 36 says:

      For two years before the Ritter administration enacted new oil and gas exploration regulations, the opponents were yelling at the top of their lungs that the proposed regulations were causing the exploration industry to abandon Colorado. There was one very large problem with that line of attack. During those two years prior to the new rules as drilling declined by 50% here in Colorado it also declined by the same percentage in Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas, Utah, Wyoming, California and Montana. The only state where drilling increased somewhat was North Dakota. All of the oil and gas industry publications attributed the decline in drilling to decreased demand for oil and gas products, including the decline in Colorado. But because ironclad Republican ideology demands that the sky is red, even though everyone knows its blue, including the oil and gas industry, the Republicans continue to attribute the decline to the proposed regulations.

      By the way, since the new more restrictive regulations went into affect, oil and gas drilling in Colorado has continued to increase with the improving economy.  

      • ajb says:

        More regs –> more drilling.

        Who’d a thunkit?

        🙂

        • Republican 36 says:

          No, that is not what I’m saying. All the nonsense to the contrary, regulations are something the oil and gas exploration industry knows they are going to have to comply with in every state where they operate. They will try to minimize them during the rule making process but regulation has never stopped the industry from investing here or any where.

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