Messenger: Protect Colorado

Candidate: None

Contest: Proposition 112

Affiliation: U

Date delivered: Aug. 20, 2018

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Message type: tv ad

Message tone: negative

About the message:

This initial TV ad from Protect Colorado opposing Initiative 97 features a July reality check from CBS Denver of an ad by business group Colorado Concern that criticized signature gatherers for the measure. Initiative 97 would require a 2,500 setback from development for any new oil and gas drilling. 

The portions of the reality check featured in this new ad mention that the Colorado Oil and Gas Commission has said the setbacks would prohibit drilling on 85 percent of Colorado land. It also notes the large number of people employed by the oil and gas industry, and the amount of tax revenue the industry generates. The ad concludes "No on Setbacks."

CBS Denver did a reality check on this ad, pointing out that the Supreme Court has ruled that political speech trumps copyright, so use of the ad without permission is considered legal. But political reporter Shaun Boyd characterized the ad as misleading because it implies that she supports the campaign against 97. "I'm not on any side," she says. She also noted that the ad selectively uses parts of the previous reality check, omitting quesitons about the health and safety impacts of oil and gas drilling near residences.

The Secretary of State announced on Aug. 29 that Initative 97 had enough signatures to make the ballot.

Ad contracts filed with the FCC indicate the ad is airing statewide.

About the messenger: Protecting Colorado's Environment, Economy and Energy Independence, aka Protect Colorado, is an issue committee formed in 2014 backed by the oil and gas industry. It works to support and oppose ballot initiatives depending on the industry's position.

The messenger's money: Protect Colorado has raised more than $13 million through late July for the 2017-18 election cycle. Anadarko Petroleum has given about $4.5 million; Noble Energy about $2.5 million and Extraction Oil & Gas about $2.2 million.