It’s no secret Colorado House Bill 10-1365 is a point of contention between the coal and natural gas industries. But, recent news that Yampa Valley Partners’ annual Energy Summit has been cancelled for that reason is alarming to the Editorial Board.
Communication between energy industries is critical to our economy and meeting the country’s growing needs.
For years, Yampa Valley Partners’ annual Energy Summit was something our community could count on to keep us up to speed on various issues facing the energy industries we depend on.
That is until recently.
YVP Director Kate Nowak announced in mid-January that her organization would no longer host the usually well-attended Energy Summit, much to the disappointment of the Editorial Board.
The root of the summit’s cancellation is Colorado House Bill 10-1365, also known as the Clean Air, Clean Jobs Act.
For reasons we can understand, representatives from the coal industry simply don’t want to sit in the same room as representatives from the oil and gas industry any longer.
Although understandable, it’s still troubling.
We need to keep communication lines open, especially as our country’s need for energy increases.
We also wonder if former Gov. Bill Ritter is happy with the divide and discontent he has created among the industries that make Colorado thrive.
It’s really too bad a government action that has few benefits has proved to have so many far-reaching consequences.
The coal industry apparently has intentions to host a coal conference at some point during the year. That conference, Nowak said, would be more of a lobbying effort to educate legislators on the benefits of coal.
The Editorial Board believes that’s an idea that holds merit.
It’s clear that no matter the place or event, the coal industry needs to do more to reach out and make our legislators aware of the benefits of coal-generated power and the possibilities of clean coal technology.
This is not a time for the coal industry to bow out of the spotlight because it was beaten up by legislation last year.
Now is the time for the coal industry to lace up its gloves and publicly defend itself in front of a crowd of energy consumers and legislators.
But, the conversations between residents, government officials and the oil, gas and coal industries, like those once hosted at the Energy Summit, need to continue in order for us to be prepared for the future.
After all, we have a new governor and possibly a new friend to our industries in John Hickenlooper. Let’s put the differences created by H.B. 10-1365 aside and come to the table for a good, healthy discussion.
And, if Colorado’s energy industries can stand together, then maybe in the future there will be less of a chance for them to be picked off individually.