Weatherdem's Weblog

Bridging climate science, citizens, and policy

CO Oil/Gas Output Up in 2009

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The amount of oil and natural gas drilled out of the ground in Colorado increased in 2009 from 2008. This occurred in the face of the Great Recession. This occurred despite new rules that Republicans wanted to convince voters would “kill jobs”.

If the Cons want to blame something for the loss of jobs, maybe they should look to the oil and gas corporations instead of the Democrat in the Governor’s seat. If production was up in 2009 (to record levels for natural gas and near-record levels for oil) and workers were laid off, then aren’t the corporations at fault?

In fact, 1,773 new wells were placed in 2009. While that is a decrease from 2008, the number of wells drilled in CO exceeded the number in Wyoming and New Mexico. According to the fear-mongering Republicans, however, the oil and gas industry was going to leave CO for our neighboring states because of the new rules implemented by the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission. That obviously didn’t happen, just as a couple of us here at SquareState accurately predicted.

Are the rules delaying the permit approval process, another claim the Republicans made time and time again in 2009? No. The average time to approve a drilling permit fell from 96 to 25 days, a huge improvement demonstrating that government works!

To recap: Republicans were flat wrong about drillers leaving the state. Republicans were flat wrong about the oil and gas industry suffering under responsible, common-sense rules that went into effect last year. Republicans were flat wrong about permits taking longer due to too much government interference.

Cross-posted at SquareState.

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