In spite of what oil and gas companies are saying, a ‘yes’ vote on Amendment 58 won’t mean higher prices at the gas pump. According to a report issued by the Bell Policy Center, an economic research organization in Denver, gas prices are not directly determined by severance tax rates. Amendment 58 seeks to eliminate a tax benefit historically handed to the oil and gas industries in Colorado in order to recoup $300 million per year for schools, transportation and natural resource projects.
But oil and gas companies have fought the measure tooth and nail, dumping a record $10 million to fight the initiative. According to the Bell report, claims that Amendment 58 will drive the industry out of Colorado or raise energy costs are simply false.
“As recently as last weekend, the chief lobbyist for the oil and gas companies opposing Amendment 58 claimed that the measure would raise prices,’’ said Wade Buchanan, president of the Bell Policy Center, in a release. “Our research — and that of others — clearly shows that is not true. It’s an industry scare tactic, and it is dead wrong.”