By Chase Woodruff | Westword
Dan Haley, president of the Colorado Oil and Gas Association, wanted a simple answer to his question, a question that gave the keynote luncheon of the group’s annual conference its title: “Can You Still Drill for Oil in a Blue State?”
His guest, Governor Jared Polis, was reluctant to give the simple “Yes” Haley may have wanted, but he made his feelings on the matter clear.
“It’s a silly question,” Polis told Haley on stage at COGA’s Energy Summit, held at the Colorado Convention Center on Wednesday, August 28. “It’s like asking, ‘Can you build a solar farm in a red state?’ It just doesn’t make any sense. Energy isn’t inherently political, it’s inherently economic.”
From an economic perspective, these continue to be boom times for Colorado’s oil and gas industry. Drillers shattered records by producing nearly 180 million barrels of crude oil last year and are on pace to meet or exceed that total in 2019, according to data from the Energy Information Administration. The state’s largest operator, Anadarko Petroleum, was just bought by fossil fuel giant Occidental in a $55 billion acquisition.