Group to GJ Chamber: don't give up on natural gas

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) -- More than 20 community representatives attended an energy briefing on Wednesday hosted by Western Energy Alliance (WEA) to discuss how energy issues affect the economy.

WEA believes that federal regulations are holding up oil and natural gas production and development on the Western Slope.

"Since we have so many federal lands here on the West Slope that would be put off limits--huge resources of oil and natural gas--which if we develop them here on the West Slope, we create jobs and economic opportunity," said Kathleen Sgamma, the vice president of government and public affairs of WEA. "I think it’s important to talk about that with groups like the chamber so they understand the forces that are working against them and why the recovery might be slower here on the west slope and elsewhere.”

Sgamma pointed fingers at the “Keep-it-in-the-Ground movement,” who have started an anti-fracking campaign. She blames them for stifling job growth in western Colorado.

"So the keep-it-in-ground-movement has been trying to make it more expensive to operate on the West Slope, if not impossible," Sgamma said. "That movement is trying to stop domestic energy development, starting with federal public lands, and of course the implications for the economy here are not good."

Other organizations like the Colorado Oil and Gas Association (COGA) were also present at the meeting.

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