Colorado could forego 54,000 jobs and $7.1 billion in economic activity over the next 5 years if voters approve a ballot measure to prevent drilling for oil and gas within 2,500 feet of existing structures and sensitive areas, according to a University of Colorado analysis released Thursday.
Initiative 78, should it win this November, would put about 90 percent of the state off limits to oil and gas drilling, according to an analysis in May from the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission.
The university’s Business Research Division, using a sophisticated computer model called REMI, estimated losses of 104,000 jobs and $14.5 billion in economic activity over a longer 15-year period based on those restrictions.
“Companies simply would not be able to operate here. This initiative, were it to pass, would usher in the probable demise of the oil and gas industry in Colorado,” Metro Denver Economic Development Corp. CEO Tom Clark said in a statement.