You cannot condemn the Russian war against Ukraine while simultaneously declaring war on Colorado’s oil and gas industry.
Over the last two weeks Gov. Jared Polis added the Ukrainian flag to his portrait on all his social media pages. Daily he has posted his support of Ukraine and condemnation of Russia. He has made personal appearances at pro-Ukraine rallies.
He has urged all of Colorado’s public colleges and universities, the Treasurer’s Office, and the state pension fund to divest any investments and cancel any contracts with Russian interests. And he urged Washington to “immediately suspend the federal gas tax.” Remember Polis signed the bill that, without voter consent, jacked our state gas tax up 8-cents-a-gallon, the increase he now wants to “delay” until after his re-election.
Polis has no authority in Washington, but he and his fellow progressives have complete and total control of Colorado’s government. Tomorrow they could suspend the state’s 22-cent-a-gallon gas tax, along with their new 8-cent hike.
Speaking of divesting from Russia, if the Colorado media wasn’t so enamored with our governor some of them would ask if he personally has divested, and to prove it. Which I doubt would happen given that Polis refused to release his tax returns when running for governor, exposing yet another Jared duplicity.
Congressman Polis demanded candidate Donald Trump release his tax returns, even supporting legislation to require it. Open Secrets way back in 2014 guessed Polis’ wealth at $387 million, but no one knows for sure. One can only imagine it’s higher today and could include worldwide investments, partly Russian.
Former Gov. Bill Owens, who came to office as a middle-class man, after his time in office and as a private entrepreneur did business in Russia. He became the chairman of the board of one of Russia’s largest banks, the Credit Bank of Moscow.
I have no idea what a gig like that pays, but I imagine it pays well. After Russia rolled into Ukraine he resigned. Now, that’s an expensive divestiture.
Russia’s military aggression is financed by its sale of oil and gas to most parts of the world. That includes the U.S. If it isn’t painfully clear, I’ll spell it out.
We, the United States, the State of Colorado are funding the Russian invasion of Ukraine by buying that oil instead of producing our own.
When I was a kid the notion that America could be energy independent was pure science fiction. It simply could never happen. Thus, on the energy front, our national security would always be at risk.
America put a man into air-flight. America put a man on the moon. And thanks to new drilling technologies, America became energy independent. Science fiction turned reality.
The U.S. became a net exporter supplying energy to a hungry Europe, and started to check Russia’s stranglehold to Europe, especially the Baltic States.
Then anti-energy progressives (if they were just anti-fossil fuel, they’d decriminalize nuclear power) changed all that.
President Biden is pleading for OPEC to pump more as he chokes the American oil and gas supply with new rules and cancels pipelines.
Biden’s actions create both a colossal national security and economic threat.
Proportionally, what Polis has done to Colorado is even crueler.
His anti-energy radicals in his Public Utilities Commission, his Energy Office, his Air Quality Control Commission, his activist Oil and Gas Commission, among so many other nooks and crannies of government, are making oil and gas companies flee Colorado like refugees from, well you know where.
His signature on Senate Bill 18-181 ensured that Colorado oil and gas producers are ratcheted out of existence. These are the companies and people who brought a better quality of life, a more affordable life and freed us from Russian oil.
Gov. Polis, please, if you care about children being killed in Ukraine, if you want to stand up to Russia, please, please stop virtue signaling.
Use your authority and legislature to repeal SB-181. Replace the activists on your cabinet, boards, and commissions and reverse their policies and save Ukrainian lives.
Jon Caldara is president of the Independence Institute, a free market think tank in Denver.
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