Business community voices support for Colorado’s oil and gas industry at Gov. Hickenlooper’s task force

September 25, 2014
Contact: Dan Haley, 303-941-6440
[email protected]

Business community voices support for Colorado’s oil and gas industry at Gov. Hickenlooper’s task force

DENVER (September 25, 2014) – A broad coalition of Denver-area business leaders and other interested stakeholders spoke about the positive economic impacts of Colorado’s oil and gas industry on Thursday during the first meeting of Governor John Hickenlooper’s task force.

“The business community’s support for the oil and gas industry is deep and widespread across our state, as seen by the sheer number and diversity of speakers at today’s meeting,” said Peter Moore, a Denver attorney and chairman of Vital for Colorado, a broad coalition of more than 3,000 businesses, organizations and citizens that support the responsible development of natural resources.

“Colorado has some of the toughest oil and gas regulations in the country, yet we also have a vibrant and thriving oil and gas industry that contributes $30 billion to our state economy each year,” Moore added. “Those good-paying jobs are a boon for Colorado, and we have urged the task force to not only remember the positive impacts of the industry as they proceed with their work, but also realize that the system we have now is working. Our rules are stringent, communities and the state regulators are working together, and meanwhile, the oil and gas sector is thriving.”

The governor’s 19-person task force met Thursday for its first official meeting and discussed the state’s legal and regulatory framework of oil and gas regulations along with the role local governments play in the process.

Business leaders spoke about the positive benefits the oil and gas industry has had on Colorado’s economy in recent years.

“The benefits of this industry range from well-paying jobs to tax revenue for schools and local and state governments to lower energy costs,” said Tamra Ward, president and CEO of Colorado Concern. She also serves on Vital’s advisory board. “But to not only survive, but thrive, the industry needs some certainty. It needs to know what the rules are and why. We believe a comprehensive and consistent approach to oil and gas development and regulation is the best way to ensure that we protect our environment while remaining an inviting place for future energy investment.”

Kelly Brough, president and CEO of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, noted that “as 11 percent of our gross domestic product and a direct employer of more than 100,000 Coloradans, the oil and gas industry plays a vital role in our economy.

“This industry not only powers our economy, but provides us all with a clean, cost-effective and efficient energy source that’s produced using the consistent and safe statewide regulations that others across the nation look to as a best practice,” she said.

Several mineral-rights owners, who are not represented on the task force, also showed up to offer comments.

“Many of Colorado’s royalty owners are elderly and depend on royalty checks to pay for utilities and food, others are using that extra income to put their kids through college,” said Michelle Smith, an organic farmer and president of the National Association of Royalty Owners Rockies Chapter. “It’s important for the task force to hear from those who not only benefit from the oil and gas industry but also have been coexisting with the industry for years.”


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