As Colorado gets ready to provide a national stage for the Republican Presidential Debate in Boulder this week, a new poll of the state’s voters shows that an overwhelming majority supports domestic oil and gas development.
The new poll by the Colorado Petroleum Council (CPC) finds that “majorities of Republicans (95 percent), Independents (84 percent) and Democrats (69 percent) say that producing more oil and natural gas here in the U.S. is important to them.” In other words, support for shale development crosses party lines and will undoubtedly be a key issue for Colorado voters in upcoming elections. From the CPC press release:
“This poll shows that energy is a top issue for voters next year because it plays a key role in job creation and economic growth,” said Tracee Bentley, executive director of the CPC. “Colorado voters understand the opportunities that pro-development policies create and the need for an all-of-the-above energy policy that helps produce more domestic energy and lower energy costs for American consumers.”
Among those polled, domestic oil and gas production is seen as critical to strengthening the nation’s economy, improving energy security and creating jobs. With these areas identified as top issues for Colorado voters, 68 percent of those polled said they will be more likely to support candidates who favor increasing domestic oil and gas production, while 53 percent said the federal government is not currently doing enough to “encourage the development of oil and natural gas resources located here in the U.S.” From the poll:
Majorities of registered voters believe increased access could help:
- Create jobs (85 percent),
- Strengthen energy security (83 percent), and
- Lower consumer energy costs (79 percent).
While creating jobs and improving the economy were found to be top issues Colorado voters care about, pollsters also found that voters believe that increasing domestic oil and gas development would do both. Of those surveyed, 85 percent said that increasing production would create jobs and 83 percent said increased development would stimulate the economy.
The polling results mirror the views of Colorado’s top elected officials who have voiced bipartisan support for oil and gas development. As Gov. John Hickenlooper, (D-Colo.), noted earlier this year, efforts to ban hydraulic fracturing in the state will not find “significant” support in their campaign to place an issue before Colorado voters for the 2016 election cycle.
As reported by the Durango Herald:
“There will be proposals, but I don’t think there will be something that will be funded to any significant extent, and therefore I don’t expect something to get on the ballot,” Hickenlooper said.
The poll will come as more bad news to extreme anti-fracking activists whose efforts to ban shale development have been sputtering out at every turn. But perhaps more importantly, the findings underscore yet again how the fringe ideology peddled by activist organizations like Food & Water Watch threatens working families, hurts the state economy, and ultimately has no place in Colorado.