I am a fourth-year student at Colorado Mesa University working toward degrees in land management and business. I had the opportunity to hear Dan Haley of the Colorado Oil and Gas Association speak at the March GJ Chamber energy briefing. I would like to say THANK YOU to Mr. Haley for fighting for what's right in Colorado -- responsible oil and gas development. I was impressed by his presentation, but as a student it was also depressing. Because of extreme regulations in Colorado paired with low oil and gas prices, my career outlook is bleak. It's an unfortunate and unnecessary reality for all of my graduating class. Colorado could lead the way to energy independence in our country; instead we are hampering our future. There have been 10 rule makings in the past five years and the Oil and Gas Task Force enlisted by Governor Hickenlooper in 2014 is now implementing even more. It's time to stop creating more rules, and allow the ones we have time to work.
Our operators need a stable and predictable regulatory environment to operate. Oil and gas is a part of our history, it's been a fabric of our state for 156 years. We need to stop listening to the minority of the people with the loudest voices as well as outsiders. It's time to stand up, Colorado, and fight for economic prosperity and independence. No matter where you live in Colorado, you are positively influenced by oil and gas. In 2014 the economic impact of the industry in Colorado was $31.7 billion and $330 million was paid in severance taxes to the state. Those numbers are now plummeting. This will negatively impact our educational system, libraries, parks, recreation areas and so much more. Keeping the oil and gas industry alive is crucial for Colorado today and for future generations.
Mikayla Bradshaw, Piceance Energy Action Council