February 24, 2008

Bill Ritter's Silence

Nice people that the environmentalists are, they have put together four initiatives that hog to themselves the potential billions of dollars of severance taxes that will flow from increased oil and gas prices and Colorado production.

One of their proposals calls for a 10% increase in those taxes in an obvious attempt to stifle production and collect fewer taxes.

The Denver Post wrote a nice editorial that politely said "hands off."

The environmental groups say they are willing to listen to suggestions from higher education advocates. We count ourselves in that category, but we're less interested in proposing new funding formulas than in getting this issue back into the forum it belongs, the legislature. Indeed, some statehouse watchers believe the environmentalists filed their initiatives in part to pressure the legislature to come up with an alternative.

We know that key lawmakers have been thinking hard about a severance tax proposal that would benefit transportation, higher education or possibly both.

Six days ago, the Rocky Mountain News said about the subject:

Just say no, governor. Tell the environmental groups that have filed several initiatives to raise taxes on the oil and gas industry on behalf of their favorite causes that you'll actively campaign against any such measure that makes the ballot.

Better yet, say it publicly - just so they're sure you're not bluffing.

What does Bill Ritter have to say? We quote and underline for emphasis: "___________!"

We are reminded that that paragon of liberal virtue, Colorado Media Matters, castigated the Denver Post when it quoted Bob Beauprez as saying that he would have hit the ground running, more so than Bill Ritter has. Now we see why Bob Beauprez would say that.

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