DENVER – Colorado oil and gas production is on the rise, despite a global recession and tighter state rules on drilling.
Natural gas production rose by 4.4 percent last year to 1.6 trillion cubic feet, according to the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission.
The commission says oil production was up 1.6 percent to 28.9 million barrels.
Industry analysts tell The Denver Post that Colorado’s oil and gas industry is still stressed. Analysts say last year’s rise was the result of new wells but that overall natural gas consumption fell last year.
Scant evidence ever existed that the state’s newly implemented rules for oil and gas development contributed significantly to the decline in natural gas drilling.
Commodity prices crashed with declining consumption in the global recession, amid already glutted supplies, on top of new reserve estimates–like 400-600 tcf in the Marcellus Shale smack in the middle of the consumer market.
Thus it may appear to any and all that Scott McInnis–in ignoring such obvious information–is first and foremost doing the biding of the oil and gas industry. But rest assured! He wants you to believe that it is at the behest of everyday Coloradans, who are those hurt the most by protections for clean water and air.
To many in the GOP, facts should never get in the way of peddling the woeful (and well-worn) tale that all Republicans love to tell: that regulations are a cardinal twin (along with taxes) impediment to unimpeded greed–and it’s trickling stream that floats all boats, yacht and inner-tube alike. Just like it worked with Enron and many others–deregulation can never not be the answer, this yarn spins.
Still, as we crawl out of the recession and consumption rises, bringing drilling zones back online, will candidate McInnis be brave enough to stray from this fairy tale in his consideration of what’s best for
Scott McInnis Colorado?
Not likely by the latest accounts of the DeLay era congressman and erstwhile lobbyist, speaking to mining executives.
DENVER (AP) – Republican Scott McInnis says he’ll revoke an executive order that allowed state employees to form unions and rewrite new oil and gas rules if he is elected governor.
McInnis railed against oil and gas regulations pushed by Gov. Bill Ritter’s administration. The former Colorado congressman, speaking at a mining conference Tuesday, said the regulations are to blame for the loss of tens of thousands of jobs in the state.
McInnis, the GOP front-runner, also took aim at Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper, a Democratic candidate for governor. He criticized Hickenlooper, who used to work in the oil and gas industry, for not speaking out against the new regulations.
No one is really surprised at McInnis parroting disproved outdated claims about the mistreated energy corporations and their tidal wave of recession-proof jobs–but for those damn drilling rules!
Because in spite of the recession–and laid-off roughnecks, and drilling rules–the McInnis campaign is awash in oil industry cash.
McInnis, who has repeatedly railed against Ritter-backed restrictions on the oil and gas industry, received a big thank you in contributions from industry leaders. The Republican amassed $1,028,272 in contributions last year, $479,575 in the final quarter of last year.
And what is Skipper Scooter willing to do or say to keep the SS McInnis afloat? My bet is on whatever it takes. Among McInnis’ industry donors:
Fred Barrett, president & CEO Bill Barrett Corp.; Joseph Jaggers III and Duane Zavadil of Bill Barrett Corp.; Ronald W. Williams, president and CEO of Gary-Williams Energy Corp.; Lynn Belcher, manager at Focus Energy LLC, Denver; Ray O. Brownlie, partner in Brownlie, Wallace, Armstrong Exploration; Robert J. Clark, president of Bear Cub Energy, LLC; George H. Fancher, Jr., owner of Fancher Resources; David J. Flake, CFO of HRM Resources; John M. Fox, Denver, board chairman of MarkWest Hydrocarbon, Inc and MarkWest Energy Partners; Kent L. Gilbert, Gilbert-Stewart Operating LLC; Jeremy Kinney, president of Kinney Oil Company; Michael Leede, CEO of Leede Operating Company; Sherry Long, Encana Oil and Gas Inc.; F. H. “Mick” Merelli, president, and CEO of Cimarex Energy; John Mork, CEO of Energy Corporation of America; Julie Mork, director of Energy Corporation of America Foundation; Paul M. Rady, CEO of Antero Resources; William Reid, Gold Resource Corp.; Curtis Rueter, Noble Energy executive; James E. Schroeder, VP of Mesa Energy Partners LLC; Mitchell Solich, senior managing director of SB Energy Partners; John M. Sterling, president of Sterling Seismic Services; Dirk Olsen, Raptor Industries; Kenneth D. Smith, Precision Air Drilling; James W. Williams, Southwester Production Corp.; and Brent J. Morse, Morse Energy Partners, and a former partner with Neil Bush in troubled oil ventures in the 1980s.
That the oil and gas rules have not caused the drilling slow down in Colorado is both known and stale news. Known, because many industry insiders and analysts are on record putting the blame where it belongs: on global energy markets, decreased demand, and glutted supplies. Stale, because production is rising as the recession weakens and new pipelines and infrastructure come on line.
But McInnis prefers his fairy tale, wishing that his corporate godmother will wave her money wand and make him King of the Gaspatch (formerly known as Colorado).