"Colorado Guv Cozies up To Natural Gas"

"Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter, a Democrat, is not known for being a friend of fossil fuels. Since his election in 2006, Ritter has ardently promoted renewable energy, such as wind and solar. More importantly, his administration has led the efforts to put a few brakes on the natural gas drilling rush that has rampaged through the state in the last decade. Soon after taking office, Ritter overhauled the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission – which issues and oversees drilling permits – to make it much less industry-friendly. Then, despite virulent opposition from Republicans and the gas industry, the new commission created regulations protecting water quality, wildlife and the public from drilling.

So it was a bit of a surprise this month when Ritter told oil and gas executives that natural gas should not be seen as simply a bridge fuel while the nation pushes for more renewable energy. He said that any state or national policy on renewables must be tied to climate change, and by definition that should include natural gas to help lower carbon emissions."

Charles Ashby reports for High Country News July 18, 2009.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009