Truth Check: Impossible to predict true economic impact of oil and gas measure right now

DENVER — The Truth Check team continues to look at the candidates and the issues in the 2018 midterms. Every advertisement that claims something -- we will research and determine if the candidates and campaigns are actually telling the truth.

You can watch our previous “Truth Check” segments here and you can read our criteria and standards here.

Our latest Truth Check involves Proposition 112 - an oil and gas measure that if passed would prohibit new oil and gas development within 2500 feet of occupied structures.

The latest ad is from Protect Colorado, a Pro Oil and Gas group, who has raised millions of dollars from the energy industry. The commercial is delivered by Gary Arnold who is with a local Pipe-fitter Union.

CLAIM #1 

Proposition 112 would be bad for the economy and cut jobs 

Exact quote in ad: "I keep people safe and productive that's why I oppose Proposition 112 it is bad for our economy and it will cost our neighbors their jobs"

Verdict: Not Exactly 

Reason: The Truth Check defines "Not Exactly" as "not quite but close." The Truth Check believes Proposition 112 would "impact" the economy but it is unclear right now the extent. "Bad for the economy" is inherently vague by the Truth Check's standards and there are competing arguments regarding actual impact.

Opponents believe Proposition 112 would cost over 43,000 jobs in the first year and over 147,000 jobs by 2030. They are citing a study commissioned by the Common Sense Policy Round-table. 

Colorado Rising, the Group supporting the measure, believes the impact would be far less.

They emphasize over 50,000 existing oil and gas sites would still be allowed to operate under the measure. Only new oil and gas development would be banned.

As a result, jobs would still be needed to operate those sites. New horizontal drilling operations could also still take place at those existing locations supporters say.

Colorado Rising cites this study by the Department of Energy Showing 13,000 existing oil jobs with 9,800 existing natural gas jobs - again emphazing many jobs would be needed to keep up these operations. 

CLAIM #2

Proposition 112 would not improve safety 

Exact quote in ad: "It doesn't improve safety."

Verdict: False  

Reason: The Truth Check believes every day the oil and gas industry conducts thousands of activities that produce no dangerous leak or incident. However, on occasions leaks occurs or deaths happen involving oil and gas employees.

Restricting new oil and gas development to not within 2500 feet would make homes and schools inherently safer as risks from nearby wells would be eliminated completed.

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