In the News
Vital For Colorado Opposes Solar Import Tariffs, Urges ‘Pro-Business Policies For All Energy Sources’
DENVER (Nov. 20, 2017) – In response to proposed tariffs and price floors on imported crystalline-silicone solar products, Vital for Colorado submitted the following comments to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.
Dear Ambassador Lighthizer:
We are writing on behalf of Vital for Colorado, a coalition of more than 70,000 local business leaders, elected officials and citizens focused on energy policy. Our organization works to maintain a pro-business climate in Colorado by promoting and defending one of our state’s most important economic engines – oil and natural gas development.
We are, however, an organization with an “all of the above” approach to energy. In fact, the origins of Vital for Colorado can be traced back to the renewable energy advocacy work of the South Metro Denver Chamber of Commerce in the late 2000s. After successfully promoting Colorado as a destination for renewable energy investment, the members of our coalition turned their attention to attracting and retaining investment in the state’s longstanding oil and natural gas sector.
National environmental groups have a First Amendment right to campaign at any level of government they choose – federal, state or local – just as the business community, energy workers and regular citizens have free-speech rights to oppose these campaigns.
For the record, I work on the pro-business side of the street with a group that opposes many of these environmental campaigns because they divide our communities and threaten real harm to Colorado’s economy. I make no secret of it.
After the failure of statewide anti-fracking ballot measures in Colorado last year, national activist groups are regrouping at the local level. This is history repeating. Several years ago, the push for a statewide oil and gas ban started with local campaigns, led by Washington, D.C.-based Food & Water Watch and other out-of-state groups.
Today, the activists are using local governments once again to win statewide attention. This time, they are trying harder to conceal their national ties and portray their lobbying as authentic and spontaneous. But if you know where to look, it’s clear these revamped local campaigns are just as contrived as ever...(Read More)
DENVER (Aug. 15, 2017) – The office of Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman is once again warning local officials not to pass unlawful restrictions on oil and natural gas development at the behest of outside activist groups.
The latest warning comes in a letter from Coffman’s office to the City of Thornton, where local regulations will receive a second reading vote Tuesday, Aug. 22.
National environmental activist groups have spent years trying to wipe out oil and natural gas development in Colorado. Sometimes, they openly demand a ban. More often, they propose unworkable laws and regulations that would bring energy development to a grinding halt.
Keeping up with the different demands and proposals is tough, but the goal is always the same. Just ask Josh Joswick, a Colorado organizer with the national anti-oil and gas group Earthworks.
Colorado’s oil and natural gas regulations have been under assault for years by national environmental activist groups. It started with local oil and gas bans, followed by statewide ballot initiatives, and then anti-industry bills in the state Legislature.
The activists have also tried litigation, and in March, the Colorado Court of Appeals handed them a partial win. In a 2-1 decision, the court ordered regulators to reconsider an activist proposal to indefinitely ban drilling statewide. The ruling generated headlines across Colorado, mostly because the activists used a group of children to serve as the public face of the lawsuit.
As a former energy reporter and an advocate, I have worked with hundreds of oil and gas professionals through the years. Most live here in Colorado. Many are close colleagues and friends. Please believe me when I say they are shocked and anguished over the Firestone tragedy.
Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper has ordered state regulators of the oil and gas industry not to fight a court ruling requiring protection of public safety, health and the environment by the state as a precondition before allowing drilling.
But Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman on Thursday went ahead and filed a 27-page appeal to the Colorado Supreme Court asking for review of that ruling in the Martinez case.
The issue is whether the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission will be more protective of people and the environment at a time when industrial operations increasingly clash with Colorado’s booming Front Range communities. A recent fatal house explosion caused by a severed underground oil and gas industry pipeline has piqued concerns, and Hickenlooper has vowed public safety will be paramount. The court ruling would make the COGCC more protective.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: DENVER (May 16, 2017) – Vital for Colorado, a coalition of business, civic and economic development leaders dedicated to promoting the benefits of energy production in Colorado, has appointed Simon Lomax to the newly created position of Research Fellow.