Colorado is blessed with an abundance of natural resources: coal, oil, gas, as well as wind, sunshine and rivers that are not only a part of our way of life, but a vital supply of energy. Together, these elements power our economy and our homes. Our state has become a pioneer in balancing responsible economic development with environmental stewardship, and I look to continue this trend in the Governor’s office.
Colorado’s oil and gas industry contributes over 200,000 jobs and over $30 billion to Colorado’s economy. Over the past five years, the industry has averaged nearly $60 million in annual payments to county coffers alone. The University of Colorado Leeds School of Business estimates that total industry payments to federal, state and local governments totaled $1.2 billion in 2014, funding everything from schools to roads and bridges.
As Governor, I will work with the energy industry with an understanding that new technology and innovation drive constant changes to the business practices of the industry. Further, Colorado needs a leader that understands we must present a stable business environment to ensure a low-cost energy supply that will attract and retain businesses in Colorado. Under my leadership, businesses can be certain that they will not be hit with agenda-driven, burdensome, job-killing regulations.
The federal government owns roughly 47% of the land in the West, and the various federal laws that govern land management practices place an emphasis on the concept of multiple uses. Federal land management agencies should consult with the states where this land is located and involve them in the decision-making process for how these lands are managed. Furthermore, I support moving the Department of Interior to Colorado, where significant federal lands are located, so Washington bureaucrats can better understand the impact and consequences of their top-down mandates.
Together, we can safely develop our natural resources. We can have a booming energy sector, create thousands of well-paying jobs, and protect Colorado’s environment for current and future generations.