Pastor and Former Head of Ministerial Alliance: Prop 112 will “harm our entire economy for generations to come”

September 19, 2018

Pastor and Former Head of Ministerial Alliance: Prop 112 will “harm our entire economy for generations to come”

Karen Crummy

Denver – Protect Colorado has released a new television ad today featuring Superintendent Patrick Demmer of the Graham Memorial Community Church of God in Christ asking voters to Vote No on Proposition 112, which would require 2,500-foot setbacks for new oil and natural gas development in Colorado.

Demmer, a pastor, former president of the Greater Denver Ministerial Alliance and father of three, grandfather of eight and great-grandfather of two, asked Colorado voters to consider the negative impacts this ballot measure would have on their communities.

“We would lose thousands of jobs across every community in our state. Not just in oil and natural gas but in every industry,” Demmer says in the ad. “It will harm our entire economy for generations to come, undermine our national security and energy independence and do untold damage to vital public services.”

The ad launches statewide today.  It can be found here.

Demmer joins other former, current and future elected and community leaders on both sides of the political aisle – including both gubernatorial candidates Walker Stapleton, a Republican, and Democrat Jared Polis – in opposing Prop 112 because of the devastating impacts it would have on Colorado’s economy. If passed, the measure would result in a loss of tens of thousands of jobs and billions in tax revenue to state and local communities for schools and public safety.

In Weld County, for instance, property tax revenue from oil and natural gas production has brought in over $137 million for K-12 schools.  That’s $3,2017 per student and enough money to pay for 1,961 teachers.

Additionally, two recent studies show the measure was intended to eliminate oil and natural gas development and would create significant economic hardships for Coloradans.

More than 94 percent of non-federal land in the state’s top five producing oil and natural gas counties (Weld, Garfield, La Plata, Rio Blanco and Las Animas) would be unavailable for new production.  And at least 85 percent of all new oil and natural gas development on non-federal lands would be off limits, according to the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission. By barring private landowners from using their private property in the way they wish, oil and natural gas development may be forced onto some of Colorado’s most pristine federal lands.

Additionally, these setbacks would result in the loss of as many as 147,800 jobs over the next 12 years, according to a study released by the Common Sense Policy Roundtable (CSPR) last month. Twenty-three percent of the impacted jobs would be from the oil and gas sector. The remaining 77 percent would be in health care, construction, hotel and food services, real estate and local government, including teachers.

CSPR’s study also found Colorado’s economy would lose between $169 billion to $217 billion over 12 years, and during that same time period, the reduction of state and local tax revenue would be between $7 billion and $9 billion. This revenue is critical for state and local governments, schools and special districts to pay for everything from new parks to police and fire departments to road improvements.

Communities across the state receive about $1 billion dollars annually in oil and natural gas revenues that are critical to state and local governments, schools and special districts. Oil and natural gas contributed $839 million to K-12 schools in 2015 and 2016, according to the Colorado Department of Local Affairs.  And over the past eight years, the industry sent $615 million in severance tax to municipalities and counties for everything from new parks and recreational centers to funding public safety of local police and fire departments, and road improvements.