Letter: Opponents of Proposition 112 using fear-based advertising
Have the ads airing on local news broadcasts about Proposition 112 frightened you?
If a 2,500 foot setback is enacted would Colorado really lose an entire industry? Directional drilling in Texas has been successful at distances almost five times the proposed set-back in 112. While 112 restricts new development on certain lands, it does not preclude development on currently undeveloped and available federal lands. The scary, made for TV analysis focuses on land that has already been developed near infrastructure that has been used for 60 years. Nobody needs to develop what has already been developed. Federal lands have not been developed, even though there are no structures within 2,500 feet, because there are no roads.
How about the jobs lost? That claim is highly suspicious. Jobs highlighted in the TV ads include accountants, restaurant servers and hotel maids, all of whom will still have their jobs with or without oil field workers from Texas. Accountants usually have more than one client. People are not going to stop coming to Colorado and enjoying the outdoors. And then there is the impact of improving technology. As the industry becomes more automated, it needs fewer humans, a trend in all industries.
Another scary claim is that this will do nothing to improve the safety of the industry. While that may be true when it comes to the reduced number of oil field workers, it is certainly not true of the negative health impacts imposed on people living close to the toxicity of the gas patch. The body of work about the health impacts of living close to drilling operations is growing. Increased asthma and low birth-weight babies are just two things that have been documented.
Industry will be OK, and we can all breathe better with a “yes” vote on 112.
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