Protecting Colorado’s Environment, Economy, And Energy Independence (PCEEEI) Is An Oil Industry-Funded PAC That Fights Citizen-Led Regulations To Protect The Oil Industry’s Profits

PCEEEI Is A Political Action Committee That Uses Millions Of Oil Dollars To Fight Citizen-Led Initiatives To Regulate Colorado’s Oil Industry

PCEEEI Is A Political Action Committee That Fights Regulations On Colorado’s Oil And Gas Industry. Protecting Colorado’s Environment, Economy, And Energy Independence (PCEEEI) is a political committee whose purpose is “to support state and local ballot initiatives that promote a vibrant colorado economy and oppose those measures that seek to harm colorado’s economy and way of life.” [Colorado Secretary of State, accessed 07/26/19]

PCEEEI, Also Called “Protecting Colorado” For Short, Was Established With Money From Anadarko Petroleum And Noble Energy. “…At least four other Front Range municipalities pushing anti-fracking ballot initiatives in 2013 and Polis arguing for a statewide initiative for further restrictions, top energy producers in the state crafted plans to fight back. Anadarko Petroleum and Noble Energy, the top energy producers in the state, lead the way. Their campaign-finance records and political activity reports shows that since 2012, the companies are responsible for two-thirds of the money given to an industry political issue committee known as Protect Colorado, which has spent $30 million since 2013 on ballot initiatives and issues.” [Denver Post, 07/16/17

PCEEEI Was Formed To Protect Oil and Gas Industry Profits. “A good example is the oil and gas industry front group Protecting Colorado’s Environment, Economy, and Energy Independence (Protect Colorado), which was formed specifically to fight against any citizen initiative that could hinder oil and gas industry profits. Among its activities are pushing industry-spawned initiatives that make it harder for citizens to get measures on the ballot along with other political activity like directing campaign contributions to pro-oil candidates, even at the city council level. CRED’s own director of operations and coalitions, Mark Truax, has referred to Protect Colorado as, ‘kinda the political arm we work with.’ And it’s a very short arm.” [Boulder Weekly, 06/07/18]

Between 2012 And 2017, PCEEEI Spent $30 Million Fighting What It Calls An “Onslaught” Of Citizen-Led Fracking Regulations In Colorado. “Anadarko Petroleum and Noble Energy, the top energy producers in the state, lead the way. Their campaign-finance records and political activity reports shows that since 2012, the companies are responsible for two-thirds of the money given to an industry political issue committee known as Protect Colorado, which has spent $30 million since 2013 on ballot initiatives and issues. A public relations front group founded by the two companies in 2013 — Coloradans for Responsible Energy Development — also received more than $30 million in donations in its first three years of existence, according to its tax returns […] Crummy added that ‘Protect Colorado was formed when the energy industry was facing an onslaught of ballot measures and the very deep pockets of one Colorado Congressman who had hundreds of millions of dollars. These measures had the potential to put the industry out of business so we had to fight back.’” [Denver Post, 07/16/17

PCEEEI Also Has a 501(c)(4) Recognized By The IRS. PCEEEI’s 990 explicitly says that PCEEEI’s mission is to “educate voters” and urge them “to reject ballot initiatives.” The 990 says PCEEEI spent a total of $15,627,705 in 2016, the bulk of which includes “advertising and promotion,” “door to door canvassing,” and “campaign management” from PacWest. [PCEEEI Form 990, 11/14/17]

PCEEEI Currently Has $618,085.23 In The Bank. This figure is correct as of December 2019. [Colorado Secretary of State, accessed 11/27/19]

PCEEEI Has A Tight Relationship With Coloradans For Responsible Energy Development (CRED), A Dark Money Astroturf Group 

PCEEEI Is Closely Affiliated With Citizens For Responsible Energy Development, A Dark Money Astroturf Group For Anadarko And Noble Energy 

PCEEEI Is “Organized” By Citizens For Responsible Energy Development, A Nonprofit Which Is Also Funded By Anadarko And Noble Energy.  “The oversized glossy mailers and robo-calls came in waves over the course of weeks to residents of this small Front Range city, asking them to protect their children, property and low tax rates by voting against a proposed city moratorium on the oil-and-gas extraction method known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. The group behind the campaign calls itself ‘Protect Colorado,’ short for ‘Protecting Colorado’s Environment, Economy and Energy Independence.’ It’s a politics issue committee organized by a public-relations group called Coloradans for Responsible Energy Development, or CRED, which is funded by the two most active Front Range oil-and-gas companies, Anadarko Petroleum and Noble Energy.” [The Colorado Independent, 07/07/14]

PCEEEI, CRED, And Anadarko Appear To Have A Coordinated Communications Team. “Olson, when contacted on Wednesday, referred a reporter to John Christiansen, vice president of corporate communications for Anadarko. A message left for Christiansen soon triggered a reply from Karen Crummy, spokeswoman for Protect Colorado, the political arm of Coloradans for Responsible Energy Development, which received initial funding from Anadarko and Noble Energy.” [Daily Camera, 08/01/18]

PCEEEI And CRED Shared A Spokesperson In 2017. “‘Scaring people is easy and cheap. Providing factual information on a complex subject is difficult and expensive,’ CRED and Protect Colorado spokeswoman Karen Crummy said in a prepared statement. CRED was created as an ‘education effort to present the public with the science and facts on fracking,’ she said. Crummy added that ‘Protect Colorado was formed when the energy industry was facing an onslaught of ballot measures and the very deep pockets of one Colorado Congressman who had hundreds of millions of dollars. These measures had the potential to put the industry out of business so we had to fight back.’” [Denver Post, 07/16/17

CRED Gave PCEEEI $550,438’s Worth Of In-Kind Contributions In 2015 And 2016 

In 2016, PCEEEI Received Over A Half Million Dollars In In Kind Contributions From CRED. In All, CRED Gave PCEEEI $501,109 In eight installments in 2016 [Colorado SoS, accessed 07/29/19]

In 2015, PCEEE Received $49,329 In In-Kind Contributions From CRED. The contributions came in eight installments. [Colorado SoS, accessed 07/29/19]

PCEEEI Has Raked In Nearly $68 Million From The Oil And Gas Industry.

About Half Of PCEEEI’s Nearly $68 Million Has Come From Anadarko Petroleum And Noble Energy

Since It was Established, PCEEEI Has Received A Total Of $67,532,853.73 In Contributions– Nearly all of which is from the Oil and Gas Industry. Its largest contributors by far are Anadarko Petroleum and Noble Energy, which have given $17,786,736 and $16,326,236 respectively. A list of companies giving PCEEEI over $1 million in a single election cycle in one year includes the following:

  • $6,941,000 From Anadarko In the 2018 cycle
  • $6,712,500 From Anadarko In the 2016 cycle
  • $4,115,236 From Anadarko In the 2014 cycle
  • $6,583,500 From Noble Energy in the 2018 cycle
  • $5,627,500 From Noble Energy in the 2016 cycle
  • $4,115,236 From Noble Energy in the 2014 cycle
  • $3,499,091 From Extraction Oil & Gas in the 2018 cycle
  • $1,047,655 From DCP Midstream in the 2018 cycle
  • $1,037,665 From Hall Energy Service Inc in the 2018 cycle
  • $3,383,900 from PDC Energy in the 2018 cycle
  • $2,235,666 from SRC Energy Inc in the 2018 cycle
  • $1,000,000 from ConocoPhillips in the 2018 cycle
  • $1,400,000 from Chevron in the 2018 cycle
  • $3,076,971 in in-kind contributions from the Colorado Petroleum Council in the 2018 cycle. [Colorado SoS, accessed 07/29/19]

PCEEEI’s Registered Agents Include Colorado’s Most Prolific Dark Money Agent And An Anadarko Accountant

Katie Kennedy Works For A Connecticut-Based Company On Behalf Of Over 100 Conservative And Industry-Friendly Campaign Committees In Colorado 

Katie Kennedy of Strategic Compliance LLC Is A Registered Agent For PCEEEI. [Colorado Secretary of State, accessed 07/26/19]

Katie Kennedy Works For Strategic Compliance, LLC, A Connecticut Company. “Kennedy works for Strategic Compliance, LLC, a Connecticut-based consulting firm that assists alternative investment firms with a wide array of regulatory compliance and operational issues.” [Broomfield Enterprise, 10/20/17]

Katie Kennedy Runs Filings For “Dozens Of Mostly Republican Campaign Committees With Her Company, Strategic Compliance LLC.” [Greeley Tribune, 10/24/17]

Katie Kennedy Is the Registered Agent For 107 Campaign Committees In Colorado, Mostly For Conservative And Industry-Friendly Causes. Fifty Of Them Are Active And 57 Have Expired. [Colorado Secretary of State Search, accessed 07/29/19]

The Dozens Of Campaign Committees Katie Kennedy Oversees Is A Who’s Who Of Conservative And Industry-Friendly Campaign Groups In Colorado.  “Kennedy, of Strategic Compliance LLC, has had wide experience as a registered agent — she oversees campaign-finance compliance, serving about 80 groups in Colorado, she said. That includes big-name organizations like the Senate Majority Fund, the Colorado Republican Leadership Fund, the Fix Our Damn Roads committee — a prominent group that supports current state ballot Proposition 109 — and Stapleton For Colorado, the candidate committee to support Walker Stapleton for governor, according to Colorado Secretary of State records.” [Centennial Citizen, 11/05/18]

Katie Kennedy Was The Registered Agent For A Number Of Campaign Committees Supporting Walker Stapleton’s Campaign Against Jared Polis For Colorado Governor. “This past weekend, a new ad from a ‘dark money’ group called Colorado Citizens for Truth his Colorado screens backed by a $700,000 buy. The new group’s agent is Katie Kennedy, also the registered agent for Stapleton for Colorado, Walker Stapleton’s SuperPAC Better Colorado Now, and a variety of other GOP campaign organization.” [Colorado Pols, 10/16/18]

One Of Katie Kennedy’s Dark Money Groups Worked With Cambridge Analytica, The Trump-connected Political Data Firm That Improperly Gained Access To Data From Over 50 Million People

At Least One Dark Money Group Affiliated Katie Kennedy Worked With The Controversial Group Cambridge Analytica. “Colorado political nonprofit Centennial Coalition paid data-analysis firm Cambridge Analytica $16,500 for ‘website development and consulting’ around the time of the 2014 election, according to tax records obtained by Denver7.  Cambridge Analytica is currently under scrutiny for allegedly mining the data of more than 50 million Facebook users while employed by the Donald Trump presidential campaign. […] But the links between the two Colorado “dark money” companies and Cambridge Analytica weave a tangled web. The Centennial Coalition is registered as a 501(c)(4) nonprofit in Colorado, but finding information about the company online is difficult. It was formed as an LLC in 2014, with Katie Kennedy of Strategic Compliance LLC as the registered agent.” [Denver 7 ABC Affiliate, 03/21/18]

Cambridge Analytica Is The Political Data Firm That Worked For Donald Trump’s 2018 Campaign And Unscrupulously Accessed Personal Data Of More Than 50 Million Facebook Users. “Cambridge Analytica, a political data firm hired by President Trump’s 2016 election campaign, gained access to private information on more than 50 million Facebook users. The firm offered tools that could identify the personalities of American voters and influence their behavior. Cambridge has been largely funded by Robert Mercer, the wealthy Republican donor, and Stephen K. Bannon, a former adviser to the president who became an early board member and gave the firm its name. It has pitched its services to potential clients ranging from Mastercard and the New York Yankees to the Joint Chiefs of Staff. On Monday, a British TV news report cast it in a harsher light, showing video of Cambridge Analytica executives offering to entrap politicians.” [New York Times, 03/20/18]

Katie Kennedy Refused To Answer Reporters’ Questions About Her Work With Cambridge Analytica. “Kennedy told Denver7 Monday that the Centennial Coalition ‘did only issue work in 2014 and hasn’t done anything since then’ and did not answer questions about the company’s work with Cambridge Analytica. She renewed the Centennial Coalition LLC’s good standing in December 2017, filings show. ‘I serve as the accountant and registered agent for these groups and am in charge of the books and filing either their tax returns or state and federal disclosure forms,’ she added in an email conversation. ‘I have no real knowledge of the actual workings of the committees.’” [Denver 7 ABC Affiliate, 03/21/18]

PCEEEI’s Other Registered Agent Is An Accountant For Anadarko Who Supports Taking Tax Revenue From Colorado’s Communities And Is Trying To Exempt Oil Companies From Sales Taxes In Utah 

Travis Holland Of Anadarko Is A Registered Agent For PCEEEI. [Colorado Secretary of State, accessed 07/26/19]

Travis Holland Has Been A Senior Tax Accountant For Anadarko For Over 20 Years. Travis Holland is a senior tax accountant for Anadarko Petroleum. He has worked at Anadarko since 1997. He says he is “responsible for ad valorem tax compliance and policy issues in Colorado and Utah.” [LinkedIn, accessed 07/26/19]

Travis Holland, in 2014, Supported A Bill That Resulted In Colorado Counties And Towns Losing Millions Of Dollars In Tax Revenue From The Oil And Gas Industry. The town of Windsor Received “No Property Tax Revenue From 113 Wells Drilled Beneath Town.” “When House Bill 1371 sped through the Colorado General Assembly earlier this year and became law, it was bound to create winners and losers, as legislation so often does. Dolores County counts itself in the latter category. County Commissioner Julie Kibel said the change in how revenue from oil and gas production is allocated to tax jurisdictions resulted in a loss of about $1 million to the county, local schools, and other entities. ‘That’s a huge hit,’ said Kibel, who said the $310,000 loss absorbed by the county government about 10 percent of its annual budget. The town of Windsor also took a hit with the measure. […] Travis Holland, a senior tax accountant at Anadarko Petroleum, has been heavily involved with the issue and favors the legal change also supported by the Colorado Oil and Gas Association industry group. He cited the difficulty of complying with the previous law, and objected to the fact that companies rather than assessors were being relied upon to break down a well’s production value by tax district. ‘We want to be a good citizen and pay the right amount and pay the right people. We just don’t want to be put in a position of determining who those people are.’ he said.” [The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel, 09/21/14]

In May 2019, Travis Holland Gave A Presentation At The 2019 Utah Taxes Now Conference On “Extending The Sales Tax Exemption To Oil, Gas, And Electrical Generation.” The event was sponsored by Chevron. [Utah Taxpayers Association, accessed 07/29/19]

Travis Holland Spoke In Favor Of Exempting The Oil And Gas Industry To Sales Taxes On Utah’s Conservative “Red Meat Radio Show.” Holland said, “We have to make huge investments in infrastructure, and there a number of costs associated with just getting ready to drill a well. […] There have been very, very few gas wells drilled in the state in the last two years. And I think that’s a reflection of the fact that currently Utah is not competing for capital, at least in the gas sector. And so I think that 201 is one of those things that would say, ‘we can’t fix every problem or overcome every hurdle that Utah has because of the nature of the resource and where it is, proximity to markets and those things, but we can help as a state to say we’re not going to make matters worse than they are.’ And so 201 is one of those policies that in my view would improve that metric and make Utah a little more inviting for capital… this is something that would encourage the use of Utah people, keep people working, if you will.” [Red Meat Radio, 05/18/19 (00:23:58)]

Holland was referring to Utah Senator Ronald Winterton’s SB 201, “Protect Public Welfare Oil and Gas Operations.” “The lobbyists were asking the panel to reconsider SB201, a failed measure last session that sought to eliminate Utah’s sales tax on oil and gas producers, a consideration already enjoyed by mining and manufacturing. Howard Stephenson, a former state senator who heads the business-backed Utah Taxpayers Association, characterized the sales tax as “a barnacle on the ship of our economy,” acting as a drag on growth. Sponsored by Sen. Ronald Winterton, a Republican from the oil patch town of Roosevelt, the bill would have phased in the tax break, resulting in a $48 million reduction of sales tax revenue by the fourth year, according to the measure’s fiscal note.” [Salt Lake Tribune, 05/16/19]

In Addition To Working For Anadarko For Decades, Travis Holland Has Sung At Anadarko Events. For seven years, Anadarko Petroleum Corporation has teamed up with the Civic Center Conservancy to make sure the 4th of July party really gets started in Denver. That’s the Independence Eve celebration at Civic Center Park. ‘We just really love this event,’ said Brad Holly, Senior Vice President of Anadarko. ‘Independence day is a great holiday for us to celebrate. It reminds us of what we try to do as Anadarko which is bring energy, security and independence to our country and the people of Colorado.’ This year, Anadarko is doing a bit more than just hosting the event, it’s also providing some of the music in the person of Travis Holland. He’s a 20-year employee at the company who will be signing the National Anthem. ‘I was volunteered,’ he explained, ‘but I’m flattered to be asked and it’s a real privilege. I’m a patriot and really love the country and the significance of the holiday.’” [Denver CBS Affiliate, 06/30/16]

PCEEEI Opposes State And Local Citizen-Led Initiatives That Could Hurt The Oil Industry’s Profits

PCEEEI Has Opposed Statewide Local Limits On Fracking Near Colorado’s Homes And Schools

PCEEEI “Led” The Campaign Against Proposition 112, A 2018 Colorado Ballot Initiative.  “The fight against Proposition 112, previously known as Initiative 97, is being led by an industry-backed campaign with years of experience successfully blocking proposed regulations. And so far, that group, Protecting Colorado’s Environment, Economy and Energy Independence, also known as Protect Colorado.” [The Cortez Journal, 09/14/18]

PCEEEI Fought A Statewide Ballot Initiative In 2018 That Would Have Required Frackers To Stay At Least 2,500 Feet From Colorado Homes. “Protecting Colorado’s Environment, Economy and Energy Independence – or Protect Colorado for short – has already raised $21.1 million as it prepares to fight Initiative 97, the statutory ballot proposal that would set up a 2,5000-foot barrier between occupied buildings and oil and gas development, and in support for Initiative 108, which would require governments to compensate private property owners when those governments pass regulations that reduce the value of that property.” [Durango Herald, 09/05/18]

The Measure Would Have Required Frackers To Keep A Safe Distance From Colorado Homes And Schools. “Proposition 112 would require that oil and gas drilling rigs be placed no closer than 2,500 feet from homes and other buildings like schools. The current setback is 500 feet for homes and 1,000 feet from school buildings.” [The Cortez Journal, 09/14/18]

PCEEEI Defeated The Measure, Outspending Its Opponents By An Extraordinary Margin 

PCEEEI Defeated Proposition 112 By A 57 to 43 Percent Margin. “Proposition 112, the initiative that would dramatically increase oil and gas drilling setbacks from homes, businesses and waterways, was decisively defeated Tuesday night following a contentious campaign in which the industry spent tens of millions of dollars to derail the measure. As of 8:30 a.m Wednesday, the measure had failed by a 57 percent to 43 percent margin, with 100 percent of counties reporting.” [Denver Post, 11/07/18]

PCEEEI Outspent Its Opponents By 30 To One. “Protecting Colorado’s Environment, Economy and Energy Independence, also known as Protect Colorado, has outraised its opponents 30 to one. Protect Colorado raised $21 million as of Sept. 4, while the issue committee backing the proposed setback regulations, Colorado Rising for Health and Safety, also known as Colorado Rising, has raised $698,000 and spent almost all of it, leaving a $10,000 balance on the books.” [The Cortez Journal, 09/14/18]

PCEEEI Also Opposes Local Fracking Regulations With A Campaign That Called Voters “Constantly” 

PCEEEI Waged A Successful And Relentless 2014 Campaign To Oppose Fracking Regulations In Loveland. “The group behind the campaign calls itself ‘Protect Colorado,’ short for ‘Protecting Colorado’s Environment, Economy and Energy Independence.’ […] Two weeks ago tomorrow, the Loveland fracking moratorium was voted down by 902 votes, or 4 percent of 21,000 votes cast. As analysts noted after the election, it was a close vote and the deck was stacked. The moratorium, or Question 1, appeared on the same ballots voters were casting in party primary elections, in which there were no high-profile statewide Democratic races but in which the race for governor on the Republican side featured an anyone’s-guess four-candidate showdown. Loveland residents said that the mail and phone calls from Protect Colorado came constantly and with increasing intensity as the campaign heated up. Some said they were getting three calls a night and that they didn’t know who was behind the calls and the mailers.” [The Colorado Independent, 07/07/14]

PCEEEI Used A Disgraced Former Interior Secretary In Its TV Advertising Campaign

A PCEEEI TV Advertisement Featured Gale Norton. In the ad, Norton urges voters to “vote no on every measure that would cripple our communities and the Colorado economy” as an on-screen graphic says “Vote NO on 112.” In the advertisement, Norton says she is a former Colorado Secretary of State but made no mention of her more recent and higher-profile time as Interior Secretary. [PCEEEI, 09/06/18]

Gale Norton Resigned From As George Bush’s Interior Secretary In 2006 “Amid A Washington Ethics Scandal.” “Norton’s departure ends a controversial tenure viewed as largely favorable to energy and mining interests at the expense, critics say, of environmentally sensitive areas and a tradition that used to give more weight to science than politics. She is leaving amid a Washington ethics scandal that has touched her department: Multiple investigations are examining possible links between Norton’s former deputy, J. Steven Griles, and former lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who pleaded guilty in January to defrauding his clients and conspiracy to bribe members of Congress.” [Los Angeles Times, 03/11/06]

After She Left Interior, Norton Worked For Royal Dutch Shell– A Conflict Which Would Later Result In A Criminal Investigation Into Norton. “The Justice Department is investigating whether former Interior Secretary Gale A. Norton illegally used her position to benefit Royal Dutch Shell PLC, the company that later hired her, according to officials in federal law enforcement and the Interior Department. The criminal investigation centers on the Interior Department’s 2006 decision to award three lucrative oil shale leases on federal land in Colorado to a Shell subsidiary. Over the years it would take to extract the oil, according to calculations from Shell and a Rand Corp. expert, the deal could net the company hundreds of billions of dollars. The investigation’s main focus is whether Norton violated a law that prohibits federal employees from discussing employment with a company if they are involved in dealings with the government that could benefit the firm, law enforcement and Interior officials said. They said investigators also were trying to determine if Norton broke a broader federal ‘denial of honest services’ law, which says a government official can be prosecuted for violating the public trust by, for example, steering government business to favored firms or friends.” [Los Angeles Times, 09/17/09]

PCEEEI Says It Monitors Its “‘Opposition,’” But Others Call It Harassment

PCEEEI Was Accused Of Harassing Volunteers Working On Citizen-Led Fracking Regulation Initiatives In 2018 And 2016

PCEEEI Says It “Monitor(s) the Opposition.” Protect Colorado spokeswoman Karen Crummy said, “‘This is standard practice in modern campaigns. We get asked about activities in the field and want to understand what the proponents are saying and whether it’s accurate. Monitoring the opposition is important.’” [Daily Camera, 08/01/18]

Supporters Of A 2018 Initiative To Limit Fracking Within 2,500 Feet Of Homes In Colorado Say PCEEEI Harassed Its Volunteers. ”Colorado Rising, the Boulder-based advocacy group pushing Initiative 97, claims it has been targeted by an orchestrated campaign to send people out to sites where they are collecting signatures, in order to harass them and discourage them from signing.”Allegations included harassment, discouraging people from signing any petitions, intimidation and volunteers being followed home. “Protect Colorado spokeswoman Karen Crummy said, ‘We have also asked the public and oil and gas employees to let us know when they see individuals gathering signatures on the 2,500-foot setback measure.’” [Daily Camera, 08/01/18]

PCEEEI Has A Pattern Of Harassing Its Opponents– It Used The Same Tactics In 2016. “The Yes for Health and Safety Over Fracking campaign turned in the required 98,000 signatures for its two initiatives just before an August 8 deadline, after deploying both volunteer and paid petition circulators. […] Along the way, the Yes for Health and Safety group fended off industry’s well-funded ‘Decline to Sign’ counter-campaign, including TV commercials and billboards—considered an aggressive move just to keep the measures off the ballot—and even accused industry of ‘organized harassment’ against its petitioners. ‘Bullies shouldn’t decide our future,’ Tricia Olson, the Yes for Health and Safety spokesperson, said in a statement.” [The Cortez Journal, 08/17/16]

PCEEEI Even Spent Millions Trying To Make It Harder To Put Citizen-Led Initiated Measures On The Ballot

PCEEEI Donated $1 Million to a Campaign That Would Make It More Difficult for Citizen Initiatives to Qualify For the Ballot. Protect Colorado gave $1 million to the Raise the Bar campaign, which supported Amendment 71, which would require at least 2 percent of registered voters to sign any petition for a citizen-initiated constitutional amendment to qualify for the ballot and would require an approval of 55 percent of voters to pass a constitutional amendment. [Denver Business Journal, 09/20/16]

PCEEEI Opposes Allowing Local Officials to Ask for Health and Safety Studies Regarding Potential Hazards Near Residential Areas. “After Question 301 made the ballot in Broomfield, the oil and gas industry launched its now-familiar money-fueled asymmetrical political warfare, outspending its opponents about 50 to 1 in…[one] round of reported spending. Industry dollars…[supported] a ubiquitous media blitz, with ‘I ♥ Fracking’ billboards along interstates and pro-industry television and radio ads.” Many of the ads were paid for by “‘Vote No on 301,’ a group registered in Broomfield that has been funded entirely by industry money,” including “$340,000 from just four groups: the petroleum council, plus the Colorado Economic Leadership Fund, Vital for Colorado and Protecting Colorado’s Environment, Economy and Energy Independence. (Combined, the latter three groups received $5.8 million from Noble Energy in 2016.) Not a single donation came from an individual donor.” [Colorado Independent, 10/30/17]

PCEEEI Plays Fast And Loose With Campaign Finance Regulations

PCEEEI Failed To File Any Required Documents In A 2014 Campaign Against Municipal Fracking Regulations

Loveland’s City Attorney Said PCEEEI Filed “None Of The Required Issue Committee Documents With Loveland.” “Protect Colorado is registered with the state to engage in political messaging but it is not registered with Loveland. It should be, according to city attorney Judy Schmidt. ‘If the group accepted donations and made direct appeals to voters to support or oppose the initiative, then they fall under the requirements of the city charter and should have filed reports with the city,’ she told the Independent the day after the election. Protect Colorado filed none of the required issue committee documents with Loveland that would have detailed its contribution totals and spending activity. Yet Protect Colorado pulled no punches in its Loveland campaign, which was aggressive and direct.” [The Colorado Independent, 07/07/14]

PCEEEI Filed Tardy Campaign Reports After Its Mistakes Were Reported. “When the issue came to light in an article published Monday on The Colorado Independent website, Protect Colorado filed campaign finance reports with the City Clerk’s office the same day. The reports detail $126,769 in expenditures from May 9 through June 18. All of the contributions were from Anadarko Petroleum and Noble Energy. Reports with the Secretary of State’s office detail more than $2 million in expenditures and contributions from the oil and gas companies, but Crummy said that Protect Colorado spent most of the money to prepare to fight statewide ballot initiatives. But while it might be better late than never to file with the city, Schmidt said that Protect Colorado failed to meet the city’s filing schedule and other provisions. ‘Issue committees are supposed to register with the City Clerk before accepting or making contributions,’ she said.” [Loveland Reporter-Herald, 07/09/14]

PCEEEI Was Fined Three Times By The Colorado Secretary Of State For Failing To File Major Contribution Reports On Time.

[Colorado Secretary of State, accessed 07/30/19]