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Does the U.S. Constitution still have meaning? Amendment V reads in part . . . “nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation.”

Proposition 112 on the Colorado ballot flies in the face of Amendment V by modifying state law to “take” private property. You all know the issue.

Radical “keep it in the ground” groups want to put a stop to future oil and gas development in the state. 112 is a rigid half-mile setback from oil and gas facilities to the nearest occupied structure, park, ballfield, open space, stream, lake, intermittent stream — you name it.

It would radically increase the amount of surface area off-limits to responsible energy development.

If passed, 112 would make over half of the privately owned mineral estate in Colorado off-limits to development without “just compensation”. Would you want the government to pass a law making your property (home) worthless?

That is exactly what 112 would do to thousands of individuals who own mineral property in Colorado.

Proponents will tell you this initiative is about health and safety.

But that’s not true.

Colorado’s state health department has verified repeatedly, through extensive measurements, that current setback requirements ensure the health and safety of Coloradans. Colorado has a dedicated state agency to regulate the oil and gas industry and ensure all operations are protective of health and the environment.

It is estimated that by 2030, the state would lose $218 billion in GDP. Up to $98 billion in personal income could be lost and $9 billion in state and local tax revenues could disappear. As well as over 100,000 good-paying jobs.

A few years ago, we were told that we were about out of oil and gas resources — but the ingenuity and entrepreneurial spirit of the American oil and gas business has completely turned our once depleting resources into a new era of abundance.

This shift has been dramatic and has changed the landscape of world politics. America is now the number one energy producing country in the world. The production in Colorado is a large part of that accomplishment. Think of what that means.

We are no longer at the mercy of foreign powers for our energy supply. We are supplying energy to the world and thereby making America, global markets and the planet more secure. We should all be proud of that and celebrating our position as world energy leader.

Jerry R. Simmons is executive director of Domestic Energy Producers Alliance.

Jerry R. Simmons is Executive Director, Domestic Energy Producers Alliance.

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