Oil/Gas Industry: College Scholarships=”Beer Money”

The opponents of Amendment 58, the ballot measure that would eliminate a significant tax credit for oil and gas producers in Colorado, went a little too far bashing the plan in this weekend’s news–is this what lobbyist Rick Reiter meant to say? Seriously? As the Rocky Mountain News reported Saturday:

The measure, if approved by voters in November, would generate an estimated $320 million by killing a property tax credit enjoyed by energy companies drilling for oil and gas in Colorado. Under the proposal, 60 percent of that money would be set aside for scholarships.

Critics fighting the ballot issue say the scholarship plan is vague, and voters haven’t been presented with a good enough sense of how they, or their children, would benefit.

“There’s been very little vetting of how this is going to work,” said Dan Hopkins, spokesman for Coloradans for a Stable Economy, the group funded with nearly $10 million in contributions from oil and gas companies to fight the proposal.

Another campaign official, Rick Reiter, was far harsher, calling the plan a “handout” that would only provide most students with “weekend beer money.” [Pols emphasis]

But those same critics also sued state education officials this summer when they began drafting a plan on how to administer the scholarships…

We’re guessing Reiter thought that was awfully clever. Will he think so when this cheap shot is used against him for the next five weeks? Most college students we know (not to mention their voting parents), struggling to pay skyrocketing tuition as it is, will take pretty serious umbrage with this.

12 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. redstateblues says:

    Because us college students are a bunch of lazy alcoholics.

    I spend more on textbooks in one day at the start of the semester than I do on beer for the whole year. Never mind the skyrocketing cost of tuition.

    And I have just one question for Rick Reiter: what is a $321 Million tax credit, if it’s not a massive handout to the oil companies?

  2. DavidThi808 says:

    58 is one of the 2 initiatives where a yes vote is a vote for the future of Colorado – http://www.coloradoballot.net/

  3. One Queer Dude says:

       The oil/gas tax credits turn into college scholarships which then turns into beer money which then turns into increased earnings for Pete Coors and his family.

      See Repubs, there is a silver lining to A-58.  VOTE YES!  

  4. Disinterested17 says:

    Why should the taxpayers have to subsidize the oil and gas industry OR college scholarships?  It’s a false choice. I’m fine with the environmental improvements part of it.

    Take out a loan and pay it off when you graduate.  My guess is that’s how most of us who have degrees did the past several decades.

    If we have to subsidize anyone, why should it be the future highest earners in society?  

    Take a loan.  Pay it off.  Make lots of money.

    • DavidThi808 says:

      …shouldn’t you be suggesting we shut down all public schools. Same thing – they want the benefits of an education they should pay for it.

      • Disinterested17 says:

        That’s what I’m saying, make those freeloading kindergartners take out a loan for their education.  

        Come on man, get a grip.

        But you actually prove my point.  We currently cover these publicly educated folks until they graduate high school.  Then we let those who don’t go to college fend for themselves.  But we are supposed to want to send tax dollars to those who go for a higher ed degree, even though they will be financially rewarded for this decision with a higher paying job after they graduate.

        Why not give the non college kids a likewise subsidy, rather than picking winners or losers?  Perhaps a tax credit to buy a car?  Or a financial aid check to pay for their apartment?

        My point is there are far more needy folks in the world than a college student on their way to a $40K job, like disabled folks, homeless people or the truly mentally handicapped (here I mean Raider fans) . . .

        Again, it’s a false choice between rich oil companies and the future middle class college grads.

        • sxp151 says:

          1) A high-school education doesn’t really prepare you for much in this country. Many people don’t even see calculus until college. So college in this country basically serves the same sort of purpose as high schools in many other countries. So the idea that high school should be free and college should be prohibitively expensive is a rather artificial divider.

          2) Most people who don’t go to college aren’t making a choice to do so. They have to get a job right away because there’s no money otherwise. Giving them a subsidy to attend college will help them go, as well as helping the country. We no longer have many jobs being created in unskilled or manual labor, so it’s in our country’s interest to have more people going to college.

    • redstateblues says:

      Would you rather we continue to subsidize the oil industry to the tune of more than a quarter  billion dollars?

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