Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper’s sang the praises of energy production in his State of the State address Thursday. Hickenlooper was focused on economic growth and the ability of the state’s businesses to compete equally on the global stage, with specific mention of rural incentives and job training as imperative to keeping up with the rest of the world.
However, when it came to the importance of energy production in the state, it wasn’t just oil and gas Hickenlooper seemed to be praising. It was all forms energy production. Hickenlooper seemed to imply the necessity for cooperation between oil and gas and clean energy industries to grow Colorado’s economy at a time when solar and wind energy is providing job security for some who no longer work in more traditional energy jobs. In addition, the cost of clean energy technologies are decreasing.
With the support of both Republicans and Democrats, we have quadrupled the amount of energy we get from wind and sun in recent years,” he said. “Costs of these technologies are dropping like a rock, while the clean energy industry provides jobs to over 60,000 Coloradans.
Yet, Colorado’s oil and gas industry is still an important mainstay of the state’s economy. Hickenlooper noted, “We’ve protected thousands of acres of open lands and rivers…while we’ve become one of the best states in the country for natural gas production,” while leading the country on moving to cleaner energy sources with little or no additional cost to consumers.
UPI reported that Hickenlooper’s energy agenda faces little opposition. His speech seems to press the importance of providing a clean, safe way to produce energy, with a hard focus on the environment, an issue close the hears of many Coloradans. As a Democratic governor in a state whose legislature is split, Hickenlooper’s speech also made sure to address the importance of working together after a divisive year of politics, a move imperative to continue Colorado’s ability to increase oil and gas production in the Niobrara and DJ Basin while also keeping clean water, pristine mountain landscapes, and clean air for all citizens. His goal to create jobs and increase Colorado’s vitality align with those of both Republican and Democratic lawmakers. However, how they get there is still the magic question.