A new study from Ballotpedia “found no definitive evidence” behind activist claims that oil and gas development is negatively impacting Colorado property values.
Conducted by “nonpartisan” researchers, the study looked at property data from seven Colorado counties where oil and gas development has been taking place and found no indication that property values were harmed by fracking in 2015 and even that “homes near oil and gas development in some cases have higher sales prices and values than homes without.” From the study:
“With several proposed 2016 ballot measures attempting to regulate where and how fracking occurs in Colorado, Ballotpedia undertook a study and found no definitive evidence that fracking negatively impacted home values and sales across seven counties in Colorado in 2015.”
The findings deal a major blow to the credibility of activist groups pushing initiatives targeting energy development for Colorado’s 2016 ballot. Coloradans Resisting Extreme Energy Development (CREED), the group behind the initiatives, has made property values a key part of their campaign and even prominently featured the claim in a Dec. 2015 press release launching their initiatives:
“I am expected to sacrifice my family and my home’s value for a fuel source that will be shipped elsewhere for some investor’s profit. Our leaders are failing us, and the ability to run citizen initiatives is there to use when our leaders fail us. CREED’s ballot initiatives represent positive change,” says Sharon J. Carlisle, President of PROTECT OUR LOVELAND.”
Activist groups have been pushing the narrative that oil and gas development drives down property values for years with no credible evidence. In 2014, EID investigated the claims by contacting officials in Weld County, at the time home to almost 22,000 active oil and gas wells, and a place where thousands of wells were drilled in recent years. In response, Weld County Assessor Chris Woodruff told EID that:
“We haven’t seen that proximity to oil and gas operations has caused a loss in value. We’re not seeing that.”
Further evidence of activist misinformation on property values is found in a statement released by the Loveland-Berthoud Association of Realtors in opposition to a “ban fracking” initiative in Loveland. The Association did not mince words in their statement in opposition to the initiative:
“Many of the statements made by [anti-energy activists] have no factual basis and are simply allegations. There is no data that indicates fracking is harmful to human health, the environment or property values.”
Despite mounting evidence to the contrary, national activist groups behind Colorado’s “ban-fracking” campaign pressed-on in their efforts to mislead the media, policymakers and most importantly, homeowners, as part of their national campaign to ban oil and gas development. But as we have seen many times, these groups are willing to say or do just about anything to keep their campaign going even if it means disregarding the facts.