Garfield County energy poll

According to a bipartisan poll conducted by The Checks and Balances Project, Garfield County voters are deeply divided over their county commissioners’ recent actions on several oil and gas drilling and oil shale issues.

Download the polling memo

The poll examined three controversial decisions made by the county commissioners, and asked voters if they believe the oil and gas industry has too much influence with the county commissioners, and how much they approved of the county commissioners’ job performance.

One of the topics polled – a closed-door meeting with oil shale lobbyists held in Vernal, Utah – has been condemned in the media. Commissioners recently rescinded a resolution that was at least partially drafted during that meeting.

Whether it’s giving oil shale lobbyists preferred access, firing the county’s industry liaison in response to lobbyists’ complaints, or spending tens of thousands of dollars on out-of-state energy consultants with partisan ties, this poll shows a greater number of Garfield County voters disagree with the county commissioners than agree with them.

Far from having a mandate, Jankovsky, Martin and Samson fail to generate even a plurality of support for their decisions. The commissioners have divided voters down the middle on oil and gas and oil shale issues.”

  • 51 percent of voters disagreed with the county commissioners’ decision to use taxpayer funds in hiring a Texas consultant firm with ties to a partisan advocacy organization, compared to 21 percent who agreed. This was the most controversial decision
  • 43 percent of voters disagreed with the Board’s decision to fire the county’s oil and gas industry liaison, compared to 31 percent who agreed.
    • 45 percent of unaffiliated voters disagreed, compared to 29 percent who agreed.
    • 38 percent of Republican women disagreed, compared to 33 percent who agreed.
  • 46 percent of voters disagreed with the Garfield Board of County Commissioners’ decision to hold a meeting in Utah closed to the public, compared to 42 percent who agreed.
    • 48 percent of unaffiliated voters disagreed, compared to 41 percent who agreed.
  • 45 percent of voters said the oil and gas industry has too much influence in the county, compared to 46 percent who said the county commissioners are balanced.
    • 50 percent of unaffiliated voters say that the industry has too much influence.

The survey results show that Commissioners Tom Jankovsky, John Martin and Mike Samson have each failed to earn a majority job performance rating, though the commission as a whole received a 53 percent overall job performance approval.

Democratic polling firm Peak Campaigns and Republican polling firm Bellwether Research & Consulting conducted the bipartisan public opinion poll of 405 registered voters in Garfield County Colorado September 9-13, 2012.

Download the topline, and crosstabs.

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