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A BP Rocky Mountain region public affairs spokeswoman Wednesday, reacting to an apparent contradiction in its corporate campaign contribution policy in Colorado, said the global energy conglomerate has been consistent in how it makes donations to political campaigns.
Oil and gas companies fought the fees at every turn, in part leery of the precedent it might set not only for other gas-rich counties in Colorado, but also around the nation. The possibility of impact fees quickly became a campaign issue in neighboring Garfield County during the 2008 county commissioner election.
Even as domestic drilling for natural gas has dropped off dramatically due to the recession, more and more states and local governments are looking to up taxes on the industry in order to bolster desperately depleted budgets.
With Democrats poised to win Colorado’s second U.S. Senate seat, solidify their hold on the state legislature and possibly win commissioner seats in key energy-producing counties, former Republican congressman Scott McInnis warns the state’s natural-gas boom is about to bust.
It will likely take planning, preparation and perseverance to get through the longest ballot in Colorado history amid unprecedented turnout for the historic 2008 election. Even though more than half of the state's active voters have already cast a ballot, it all comes down to Election Day, when as many as one million Colorado residents will trek to their local polling place and exercise their right to vote.
Colorado's gargantuan ballot includes more than 14 constitutional amendments and referenda even after four measures were withdrawn on Oct. 2 by proponents after a surprise alliance of labor and business interests joined forces to oppose three anti-union amendments that remain. The Colorado Independent is putting the press to the test — we're compiling newspaper endorsements, analyzing them and then tracking the persuasive talents of editorial boards statewide.
The latest expense reports for the two groups battling it out over Amendment 58 — which would do away with a property tax credit for the oil and gas industry in Colorado — show a widening gap in the amount of money raised and spent.
Rifle Mayor Keith Lambert sees the more than $10 million that oil and gas companies have pumped into fighting Amendment 58, which eliminates a tax credit the industry has enjoyed since the 1970s, as a huge waste of money.
On Monday, the first day of early voting, Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter sent an e-mail out — OK it was “signed” Gov. Bill Ritter — announcing he had just voted at one of the state's numerous early vote centers. He wants everyone to do the same. Ritter specified that he voted “Yes” on Amendment 58 — the measure that would raise more than $300 million a year from oil and gas companies that, for the most part, hate the idea. But oddly, Ritter, a Democrat, didn’t say how else he voted — including his pick for prez or the U.S. Senate.
Apparently Republican U.S. Senate candidate and former oil-and-gas executive Bob Schaffer didn’t get the party-line memo on Amendment 52 before Monday night’s debate with his Democratic opponent, Congressman Mark Udall.
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