David Morris: Vote yes on 58
October 16, 2008
Vote yes on 58
To the editor:
On election day, I’m encouraging everyone to vote “yes!” on Amendment 58.
It’s time to end the subsidy Colorado has given to oil companies for the past 30 years. Amendment 58 will allow Colorado to collect 100 percent of taxes from oil and gas development and then invest those funds in Education, wildlife, clean water and clean energy technologies.
The group opposing 58 is funded exclusively by oil and gas companies. Industry giants Exxon-Mobil, Chevron, Conoco Phillips, Anadarko Petroleum, BP, EnCana and Williams all contributed $1 million to the campaign. Their ads are attempts to frighten us into the belief that if we pass Amendment 58 our taxes, fuel, food and other household costs will increase. That’s not what’s going to happen.
Amendment 58 does not affect your taxes, as it does not increase any tax. It does require industry to pay all of their taxes. Under Amendment 58, the oil and gas industry still will pay lower taxes in Colorado than in neighboring states, such as New Mexico and Wyoming. Colorado should not be the dollar discount store for big industry!
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Amendment 58 offers ways to both support our state economy and invest in technologies that eliminate the need for foreign oil. It will not result in the mass exodus from Colorado of major oil companies. That is an idle and absurd threat. It doesn’t take a genius to realize that these companies are not going anywhere.
Amendment 58 will generate $250 to $325 million a year, with 60 percent going to the Colorado Promise Scholarship Fund. The Colorado Commission on Higher Education will administer the funds and come up with the detailed rules to implement the program. The remaining funds will be split with 10 percent going to renewable energy projects, 15 percent to wildlife habitat and 15 percent to local communities for road and water projects.
Profits in the oil industry are at their highest levels ever. Let’s end the $300 million subsidy that oil and gas companies enjoy, and at the same time, promote educational opportunities and growth in Colorado’s clean energy economy.
Vote “yes!” on 58.