Oil and Gas Summit

About 800 people were in Denver this week for the Colorado Oil and Gas Association’s annual Energy Summit. As Bente Birkeland reports, Senators Cory Gardner and Michael Bennet discussed the future of the industry.

Both Senators praised the oil and gas sector for creating high paying jobs and boosting Colorado’s economy.

But Democratic Senator Michael Bennet says the industry must tackle the hard questions like climate change, and work with concerned citizens. He also urged innovation. “Somebody is going to engineer our way to a lower carbon future. I would rather that be the United State of America than China.”

Republican Senator Cory Gardner says the country is better off reducing carbon emissions and pollution and supporting wind and solar, to a point. “Where I draw the line is I’m not willing to hurt the economy and I’m not willing to drive up costs for those who can least afford it.”

Colorado has long been the epicenter of the discussion over fracking and environmental regulations. Governor Hickenlooper recently unveiled new guidelines after a fatal home explosion last spring caused by a severed oil and gas flow line.

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