AP uncritically reported Beauprez comments about "concern" over Western Slope drilling permits

››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

An August 23 Associated Press article about Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez's "plan to protect wildlife habitat" contained wording nearly identical to portions of an August 23 press release issued by Beauprez's campaign but omitted Beauprez's reported recent support for the controversial sale of oil and gas drilling permits in U.S. Forest Service roadless areas.

An August 23 Associated Press article about Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez's "plan to protect wildlife habitat" reported that Beauprez "said during the past decade, the number of drilling permits issued by the state has risen sharply in northwestern Colorado, causing concern." But the unsigned AP article, which contained wording nearly identical to portions of an August 23 press release issued by Beauprez's campaign, omitted Beauprez's reported recent support for the controversial sale of oil and gas drilling permits in U.S. Forest Service roadless areas, including areas in northwestern Colorado.

The AP article reported that "GOP gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez on Wednesday announced a plan to protect wildlife habitat in energy-producing areas of Colorado's Western Slope by creating a fund to pay for habitat-mitigation efforts." The article continued, uncritically reporting that "[Beauprez] said during the past decade, the number of drilling permits issued by the state has risen sharply in northwestern Colorado, causing concern about the habitat available for the state's largest elk and mule deer herds."

However, as Colorado Media Matters has previously noted, Beauprez reportedly backed a controversial August 10 auction of oil and gas drilling leases in Colorado's roadless forest areas. According to the Bureau of Land Management, which auctioned off the drilling permits, leases sold August 10 included parcels in northwestern Colorado in the White River National Forest.

According to an August 9 AP article (registration required) about the controversy over the sale of the leases in U.S. Forest Service roadless areas, "Both gubernatorial candidates have weighed in [on the sale of the drilling leases], with Democrat Bill Ritter adding his request that the leases be put on hold until the task force and Gov. Bill Owens decide what to do, and Republican Bob Beauprez saying the process should move forward." This information was not included in the August 23 AP article.

As previously noted by Colorado Media Matters, the Daily Sentinel of Grand Junction similarly has neglected to note Beauprez's support of the drilling lease sale.

From the August 23 AP article:

From the August 23 Beauprez campaign press release:

GOP gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez on Wednesday announced a plan to protect wildlife habitat in energy-producing areas of Colorado's Western Slope by creating a fund to pay for habitat-mitigation efforts.

He said the plan, involving severance tax revenues, also would ask for contributions from the energy industry to help build a multimillion-dollar fund to restore and improve habitat.

Gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez today announced a major initiative to protect wildlife habitat in energy impacted areas of Colorado, specifically on the Western Slope.

[...]

The Colorado Habitat Initiative is Bob Beauprez's action plan to provide off-site wildlife habitat mitigation, acre-for-acre, by creating a public-private fund seeded with state severance tax dollars.

"I believe we must take immediate and meaningful steps to protect Colorado's wildlife and the habitat that sustains it," Beauprez said.

"I believe we must take immediate and meaningful steps to protect Colorado's wildlife and the habitat that sustains it," said Beauprez.

He said during the past decade, the number of drilling permits issued by the state has risen sharply in northwestern Colorado, causing concern about the habitat available for the state's largest elk and mule deer herds.

In the past decade the number of drilling permits issued by the state has risen sharply in Northwest Colorado, causing concern about the habitat available for the country's largest elk and mule deer herds.

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