Colorado Groups Work to Balance Oil, Gas Production and Environment

Following last summer’s stand-off in Colorado between the state’s pro-environment and pro-energy forces, an unofficial triumvirate consisting of Coloradans for Responsible Energy Development (CRED), the University of Colorado and Governor John Hickenlooper’s task force is upping efforts at finding a balance before tensions – and tempers – heat up again.

It is no secret to energy insiders that the oil and gas industry contributes heavily to state and local coffers, while also providing the necessary stimulus for economic growth in the overall economy. Combine the deep-pockets aspect of the industry with the knowledge that oil and gas companies provide the fuel essential to keep the nation’s motors – economic and otherwise – running and the result is that it is difficult for most states to close the door to the industry.

However, these contributions can be sacrificed in a minute in areas that vote to prohibit drilling, including hydraulic fracking. That came close to happening in Colorado last year, and that is keeping the pressure on the three groups to continue to push for ways to satisfy environmental concerns, while also leaving the door open to oil and gas companies.

CRED, a non-profit created by leaders from Anadarko Petroleum Corporation and Noble Energy, has redoubled its efforts at educating the public and raising awareness of the necessity for responsible oil and gas development in the state. A lot of the resistance to the energy industry is due to “misinformation and just a lack of information,” Jon Haubert, CRED’s communication director, told Rigzone.

Among the changes CRED has made is a completely revamped website to better inform the public about the oil and gas industry’s importance to the state. It is also directing state residents to its mobile app, and to a second website – – that is designed to respond to user questions by providing answers from academia, the scientific community and the government.

“Even though more than 2 million wells have been fracked since 1947 and more than 95 percent of today’s oil and natural gas wells are fracked at some point during their lifespan, many still admit to not knowing or understanding what it involves. We’re here to change that,” Haubert, said.

Following last summer’s divide between pro-drilling and anti-drilling groups, the University of Colorado Boulder’s Leeds School of Business researched the issues behind the stand-off and published a business study examining drilling setback distances and other issues that formed the basis of the divide.  


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