By Dan Haley and Lynn Granger
Amid a pandemic and a historically turbulent year in global energy markets, Colorado’s natural gas and oil industry has taken more than its share of lumps in 2020, with over 7,000 direct jobs lost since March. A confluence of precedent-setting state regulatory reform stands poised to make Colorado’s energy recovery — and indeed, the state’s broader economic recovery — far more daunting, and its future less certain.
As a Coloradan, it has been heartening to watch essential employees stepping up across the state during this difficult time. Nurses, doctors, and hospital support staff are literally risking their lives to save others. To those men and women, thank you doesn’t seem to be enough.
In 2019, front-runners for the Democratic nomination to lead the free world are openly advocating for the ban of fossil fuels. Taking their positions – and their rhetoric – seriously, we take a look at what would happen if they end “fossil fuels” and ban fracking.
During this holiday season, as we gather with friends and family, we recognize and appreciate our blessings. Our industry has much to be grateful for this year, and at COGA, we are exceedingly grateful for all of you.
We thank you for your ongoing investment in our association and our industry, and we thank you for all that you do each day to produce the energy we all need to thrive in the 21st century.
But as we near the end of this historic year for our oil and natural gas industry, I think it’s good to take stock of the past year and look ahead to what’s to come.
Working in the oil and gas industry in Colorado has not been easy these past few years. Rocky commodity markets, layoffs and activists who want to put us out of business have taken their toll on morale more times than some of us would like to admit. Our shared belief that the work we do helps people live longer, happier, healthier, and more productive lives has helped us endure through tough times. Sadly, a highly unusual set of events has led us to what may be some of our most challenging days yet.
News broke last week that a home explosion in Firestone was caused by gas leaking from a nearby one-inch flowline. Unprocessed gas from the cut line bled off and saturated the soil, migrating through the French drain system and into the sump pit of the house. Two men lost their lives in the explosion, and one woman was critically injured.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the affected families. It may sound cliché to continue to offer those sentiments, but it feels like it can’t be said enough. The Colorado Oil and Gas Association fully supports the investigation by local and state authorities into what happened that led to this heartbreaking tragedy.