COGA Mardi Gras Event

Colorado Oil and Gas Association raised $100,000 on Friday, March 3 at their first annual Mardi Gras Ball, a charity event for Children’s Hospital. The event also honored community impact award winners. Jan Kulmann from Noble Energy won the Individual Community Impact Award, Bonanza Creek won the Small Company Community Impact Award, and PDC Energy won the Large Company Community Impact Award.

The ball was held at the History Colorado Museum, and sold out to over 400 attendees. The event was filled with dinner, dancing, live music, and auction prizes. One of the prizes was a painting crafted by a young artist, 13 year old Anicee Lamoreaux. Anicee has a bone disease called Osteogenesis Imperfecta, and serves as an ambassador for the Children’s Hospital. Her painting went for an astounding $5,500 at the silent auction. Great job, Anicee! We can’t wait to see more work from you.

Thank you to COGA for hosting the event, noting that all proceeds from tickets to any event sales went directly to Children’s Colorado.

After Ten Years, CEA Continues to Advocate for Families, Households, and Businesses

In 2006, Consumer Energy Alliance set out to advocate for sensible energy policies that ensured both environmental protection and responsible energy development. Now, 10 years later, the organization, its affiliate members, and individual consumer members continue to create thoughtful dialogue around the way we look at and talk about energy in the United States, through a non-partisan, balanced lens.

Still, despite the challenges that have occurred over the last year with energy market volatility and a continuing change in the country’s economic climate, CEA remains committed to advocating for households, families, and businesses across the country who are directly affected by these issues. Through various initiatives, grassroots campaigns, educational events and speaking engagements, CEA helped to promote a better understanding about how our nation receives its energy – and as the conversations transformed, CEA reached out to key officials and national leadership to understand the issues at hand. 

Click here for full report

What If Hydraulic Fracturing Was Banned?

This week, the Institute for 21st Century Energy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce released the fourth report in its Energy Accountability Series
The report is entitled, "What If…Hydraulic Fracturing Was Banned?"  
Few advents have had more impact on this country in the last century than the energy revolution. From the creation of millions of jobs, to huge reductions in gasoline and electricity costs, to spawning a manufacturing renaissance, to giving the United States stronger footing on the geopolitical stage, our energy revolution has reshaped America. All of this ‎change can be attributed to the high tech innovations and industriousness of American engineers and geologists.
However, we've seen far too many politicians recently bowing to their special interest supporters in the extreme environmental movement and calling for a ban on hydraulic fracturing, the technology at the center of our renaissance. We take these proposals seriously, even if the media has not. It's important for voters to know politicians are actively promising a ban on fracking ‎and what the implications would be for the country.
In short: We are modeling the economic consequences of banning fracking starting in 2017 and through 2020.  
As with the first three reports, there are national numbers and state specific information for Colorado.   



What If the United States Was Forced to Pay EU Prices?

On October 21, 2016 the Institute for 21st Century Energy of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce released the third report in its Energy Accountability Series. The latest report is entitled, "What If… the United States Was Forced to Pay EU Prices?

Any economist will tell you that the most effective way to curb a certain “unwanted” societal behavior is to make that behavior cost-prohibitive. Far too many politicians and activists in the U.S. look at European energy prices with envy. They also covet nearsighted European energy policies that have been enacted, all too often in pursuit of political goals with no environmental benefit and significant economic costs.
U.S. energy abundance has brought prices lower and lower, which in turn has encouraged significant investment in new American manufacturing. Conversely, we’ve seen the impacts felt in Europe after a decade of experimental policy to make energy more expensive and less accessible. In this new installment of our Energy Accountability Series, we look at a world where these extremists get their way in an effort to answer the question, What If… the United States was Forced to Pay EU Energy Prices? The results are staggering…significantly raising the prices of energy and goods for every American household and business, creating a huge drag on an already under-performing economy. Such a drastic turn for hobble American competitiveness and squander the tremendous advantage the recent renaissance has provided.
As with the first two reports, there are national numbers and state specific information for Colorado and others. We focused on how higher energy costs will hurt jobs, the economy, and manufacturing as well as people on fixed incomes. You can find the Colorado specific numbers on the state fact sheet. 

Rocky Mountain Cleantech Open Announces Three Finalists

World's largest Cleantech accelerator selects regional finalists to present at 2016 Global Forum

The Rocky Mountain Cleantech Open officially announced the 2016 accelerator finalists who will represent the Rocky Mountain Cleantech Open region at the national Cleantech Open Global Forum in February. The 2016 winners are Big Blue Technologies, Crystal Clear Technologies and Urbix Resources. These finalists were selected from a group of 12 startup companies from Colorado, Utah and Arizona.

The three finalists will go on to compete for $200,000 in investment and in-kind services at the Global Forum, to be held in February in San Francisco.

“The three finalists, and really all of this year’s companies, have a bright future ahead of them,” said Brian Oehler, Director of the Rocky Mountain Cleantech Open. “They have come a long way during their time with CTO, and they’ve developed some lifelong connections that they can continue to draw on in the months leading up to the Global Forum and as alumni.”

The finalists were announced Wednesday afternoon at the Colorado Cleantech Awards Celebration in downtown Denver. The two-day event convened over 400 regional innovators and influencers from across the Rocky Mountain business community, led by thought leaders from the following groups: Impact Finance Center, Rockies Venture Club, High Altitude Investors, Rocky Mountain Innovation Partners, Innosphere, Colorado Association of Advanced Manufacturing, Rocky Mountain Institute/Carbon War Room, Colorado Cleantech Community, and University of Denver Daniels College of Business Entrepreneurship.

The announcement also represents the formal culmination of the rigorous six-month accelerator program. All Cleantech Open program graduates are invited to attend the Global Forum in February, offering entrepreneurs valuable connections to investors, partners and prospective customers as they scale their diverse cleantech businesses.

More about the finalists:

Big Blue Technologies – Aaron Palumbo (Colorado)
In a sentence: Big Blue Technologies’ mission is to enable expansion of magnesium based products such as lightweight auto components, next-gen batteries and bio-absorbable medical implants.
Big Blue Tech operates a proprietary magnesium (Mg) production process with reduced energy inputs. Blue’s mission is to enable expansion of Mg-based products: lightweight auto components, next-gen batteries, bioabsorbable medical implants. As the lightest structural metal, Mg can replace aluminum and steel parts. High domestic prices owing to monopolistic production practices in the US have elicited discontent by Mg customers. Enter Big Blue Tech, working toward a lighter future.
Crystal Clear Technologies – Ron Epperson (Arizona)
In a sentence: Crystal Clear Technologies has developed patented technology for removing toxic metals across a variety of industries including power plants, drinking water and food processing.
CCT developed patented technology for removing toxic metals from water in the power plant, drinking water, metals and food processing industries. The product is an absorbent material based on sustainable raw materials. The launch market, power plants, is facing new regulations on Selenium and expensive, complex solutions from incumbent technology providers. Business model is to partner with industry associations and water treatment companies for market access.
Urbix Resources, LLC – Adam Small (Arizona)
In a sentence: Urbix Resources, LLC strives to be a leading North American graphite processor, leveraging its unique access to one of the largest commercially producing graphite reserve in North America.
Urbix Resources strives to be a leading North American graphite processor, leveraging its unique access to one of the largest commercially producing graphite reserve in North America. Focusing on purity levels greater than 99.99%, Urbix Resources is capable of bringing commercially viable spherical graphite, graphene, and carbon-ceramic composites to the global market.

CEA Releases Comprehensive Solar Incentive Analysis; Highlights Importance of Pro-Solar, Pro-Grid, Pro-Consumer Policies

As part of Consumer Energy Alliance’s (CEA) Solar Energy Future campaign, the organization yesterday released a new report, “Incentivizing Solar Energy: An In-Depth Analysis of U.S. Solar Incentives,” that provides a comprehensive quantification of solar incentives available for U.S. energy consumers. The report analyzes the cost for a typical solar facility in 15 states and details the federal, state, and local incentives available for rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV). No previous analysis has ever quantified this data.
Among the report’s key findings: 

  • Existing Incentives For Residential Solar PV Are Significant

  • Third Party-Owned Solar PV Facilities Receive Significant Incentives

  • Existing Incentives May Change the Economics of Future Investments in Solar

  • The NEM Incentive Shifts Costs onto Less Affluent Customers

  • Incentives For Residential Solar PV Vary Widely Among The States

The report also found that government incentives, combined with utility offered incentives, have reduced residential customers’ net costs of installing rooftop solar systems to record-low levels. These reductions are now so significant that, in many states, total incentives are greater than a solar system’s total costs. In light of these dramatic cost reductions, many states are re-examining the scope and methods surrounding their incentive programs and are now considering programs that rely more on a competitive marketplace to provide the economically optimal levels of rooftop solar adoption.
“As the technology continues to advance, solar energy is becoming an even more incredibly powerful and cost-competitive technology that has the potential to change the face of American energy both today and in the future,” said Michael Whatley, Executive Vice President of CEA. “Solar brings with it tremendous benefits for all consumers. Solar’s deployment has been truly remarkable as growth rates have exceeded 40% a year for the past five years.”
Whatley added: “As solar energy continues to progress as a larger slice of America’s all-of-the-above energy pie, we hope that CEA’s new report will help yield pro-solar, pro-grid and pro-consumer policies to ensure the proliferation of solar technology, the continued efficiency of a robust electric grid, and increased access to clean, renewable, affordable, and reliable energy sources for all American consumers.”
The report analyzed the incentives for solar in a cross section of states including Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, and North Carolina. This report relies on public data and a relatively analytical, conservative approach to quantify the most common incentives for solar energy. To review the full results of this analysis and a copy of the report, please visit

Infrastructure Week Invites Participation in "A Day Without Water"

Dear Colleagues,
On behalf of the Value of Water Coalition, I am delighted to invite you to participate in the second annual Imagine A Day Without Water.
Water is essential – to our daily lives, our health, our businesses and jobs, our nation. Yet so much of the hidden water and wastewater infrastructure on which our nation depends – built to serve the America of the 19th and early 20th centuries – is inadequately equipped to meet the demands and stresses of the 21st century. Across America, too many families, businesses and communities face the devastating impacts of crippled water infrastructure, and being forced to live – for even a day – without water.
It’s time to fix that – by telling the public and your elected leaders your water story.
The Value of Water Coalition invites you to join more than 150 organizations already signed up to participate in this national day of action to educate the public on the crucial importance of reliable, affordable, and safe water to our nation’s communities and economy – and to ask elected leaders (and candidates for office) at all levels of government to invest now in our water and wastewater infrastructure.
More than 180 organizations participated in the first Imagine A Day Without Water in 2015, hosting live events, educating millions of citizens through social media and a national radio tour, and bringing together stakeholders from elementary schools and small businesses to mayors, city councils, and utilities. In 2016, the Value of Water Coalition is growing and diversifying this powerful coalition. From city governments and water authorities pulling back the curtain on our hidden water infrastructure to workers and businesses – from breweries and restaurants to agriculture, energy, manufacturing and tourism – we encourage you to explain the importance of water to you and your stakeholders.

Sign Up Today!

Participation is easy and can take many forms:

  • Are you a water-reliant business or labor group – a restaurant or brewery, a hotel chain or labor group, a manufacturer or a farmer? Participate on social media (shareable tweets and graphics coming soon!) and consider writing an op-ed in your local newspaper.

  • Are you an elected official? Issue a resolution affirming your community’s support for safe, reliable, accessible water.

  • Are you a water sector utility or agency? Open your facilities to elected leaders, the media, or students for tours or hold a press event.

  • Are you a school or educator? Consider hosting an art competition among young students, or have college students talk about how water matters to their futures and career paths.

Listen to our "How to Participate" Webinar

Whoever you are, whatever your sector or constituency is, you have a water story to tell. September 15th is the day to stand up and tell that story. Access resources, ideas, and see who else is participating by visiting
Should you have any questions, please reply to me and we can help you get engaged in this national day of education and action. On behalf of the Value of Water Coalition, I encourage you to sign up to participate, and to share this engagement opportunity with your peers in and beyond the water sector.
Zachary Schafer
Executive Director
Infrastructure Week


Join Manufacturers in Making Safe Drinking Water a Priority

There’s perhaps nothing more important for our health and well-being than access to safe drinking water. 

And there are devastating consequences when we neglect our water infrastructure, as we’ve sadly seen in places like Flint. But right now, you and I have a chance to help fix things. 

Please join Alliance for American Manufacturing in urging Congress to pass the Water Resources Development Act of 2016 with strong Buy America provisions.

The infrastructure that brings water to our homes is essential for our quality of life. When water systems fail, people get sick – and some even die.

America’s overall water infrastructure is in bad shape. Many water systems are failing, and recent drought and flooding are pushing even more systems to the brink.

We’ve got to do something about it. The good news is that investing won’t just safeguard our health – it also will help America’s bottom line, as one-fifth of the U.S. economy depends on clean water. 

Every $1 we spend on water infrastructure improvements generates $6 in returns. And if we ensure taxpayer dollars are spent on American-made materials like iron and steel, we will create new jobs and invest even more in the American economy! 

Tell Congress to pass this crucial legislation to ensure there is a safe, dependable drinking water system for all Americans.

CEA Launches National Pipeline Campaign to Educate Consumers U.S. Energy Infrastructure & Prices

On August 15, 2016, Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) launched its national “Pipelines for America” campaign to focus on educating homeowners, small businesses and elected officials about the critical importance of meeting our energy needs through U.S. energy infrastructure -– and how more is needed to ensure stable electricity costs and fuel prices, and improve environmental protection.

CEA and its member companies believe that it is crucial that we have enough energy to meet the growing demand from American businesses and consumers. Families should not have to worry about which bills they can afford to pay, but without sufficient safe, reliable energy infrastructure this could be a reality for people across America.  

For more information, please contact Emily Haggstrom at

South Metro Denver on Path to Sustainable Water Future

Key Take-Aways

  • SMWSA Master Plan shows tremendous progress transitioning to renewable water
  • South Metro region now a state leader in conservation, efficiency and reuse
  • Hecox: ‘More to be done, but there is no question we are on the right path’

Greenwood Village, Colo. –- The South Denver Metro region has made tremendous progress securing a sustainable water future over the past 12 years thanks to aggressive efforts to conserve water, maximize efficiency and invest in renewable water supplies, according to the results of the 2016 South Metro Water Supply Authority (SMWSA) Master Plan Update, released on August 9, 2016.

“A remarkable transformation is happening in the South Metro region,” said James Eklund, director of the state's water agency and architect of Colorado's Water Plan. “Colorado's Water Plan calls for innovative water management and this study demonstrates how this important region is transitioning to a more sustainable water supply.”

The report, produced by SMWSA and its technical consultant, CH2M, is the most definitive study of water demand and supplies of the region in nearly a decade.

“The study confirms our region’s tremendous progress toward securing a sustainable water future,” said Eric Hecox, executive director of SMWSA. “There is more to be done, but there is no question we are on the right path.”

Historically many communities in the region relied on nonrenewable groundwater from the Denver Basin Aquifer system for much of their water supply. For some, it was their only water supply as recently as 12 years ago. The significant decline in groundwater levels was unsustainable and threatened to undermine the region’s economic vitality and overall quality of life.

Recognizing the challenge, water providers joined forces in 2004 to create SMWSA and develop a plan. The result of that work to date is outlined in the Master Plan update:

  • Transition to renewable water: In 2004, less than half of the region’s water supply came from renewable sources. By 2020, more than three-fourths (78 percent) of the region’s water supply will come from renewable water supplies, according to the study. This marks a significant transformation of the region’s water supply. By 2065, a full 85 percent of the region’s supplies will come from renewable sources, according to the study. Notably, this progress is being made despite a projected 130 percent increase in total water demand over the same period.
  • Investment in renewable water projects: This transition to renewable water is the result of a number of regional projects that communities throughout the region have invested in, including WISE, the Chatfield Reallocation Project, Reuter Hess Reservoir, the ACCWA/ECCV Northern Project, Castle Rock’s Plum Creek Water Purification Facility and many more.
  • Leading in conservation: The South Metro region has established itself as a leader in conservation and water stewardship with some of the strongest and most effective conservation efforts of any region in the state. Per capita water demand in the region decreased by 30 percent since 2000. The region now boasts among the lowest consumption rates in the state.
  • Maximizing efficiency: SMWSA and its members are maximizing water efficiency by reusing water to the fullest extent possible.

“This is tremendous progress given the immense water challenges the region faced just 12
years ago,” said Mike Fitzgerald, president and CEO of the Denver South Economic
Development Partnership. “We are on a path to a secure and sustainable water supply, which is
critical to maintaining our region’s excellent quality of life and economic vitality for future

More Work Ahead
While the region is on track to meet projected demand as far out as 2065, more work is needed to ensure that happens, Hecox said.

Future possible projects and plans include adding new supply and storage, groundwater
management, conservation and efficiency.

“We must execute on current plans, continue our conservation efforts, build our renewable
supplies and maximize what we have through reuse,” Hecox said. “If we continue the course,
we will deliver on our promise of a secure water future for the region.”

About South Metro Water Supply Authority (SMWSA)
The South Metro Water Supply Authority is a regional water authority comprised of 13 water
provider members that collectively serve about 80 percent of the population of Douglas County and 10 percent of Arapahoe County. SMWSA was established in 2004 to develop and execute a plan to provide a secure and sustainable water future for the region.

Through increased negotiating power and collaborative support for new projects, SMWSA is
transforming the region’s water supply and creating a sustainable future for generations to
come. For more information, visit:

Media Contact:
Russ Rizzo

Consumer Energy Alliance Continues "Know the Value" Campaign in Colorado

CEA continues its educational campaign called "Know the Value" focused on educating Coloradans on the central role that energy plays in their everyday lives and the industries and activities that rely on energy costs. As part of the campaign, CEA is releasing a series of ads and videos highlighting industries directly benefit for Colorado energy every day, including agriculture, education, breweries, and medical devices.

Rocky Mountain Cleantech Open Hosts Kick-off at the University of Denver

The Rocky Mountain Cleantech Open announced the fourteen entrepreneurials that have been selected to participate in the world’s largest cleantech accelerator. In its ten-year history, Cleantech Open has helped 1,036 startups accelerate their businesses, raising $1.135 billion in funding and creating 3,067 cleantech jobs. The organization runs a six-month program to connect startups with people, resources, and visibility to help them succeed.

Participants from the 2016 Cleantech Open Rocky Mountain region are:

Agua Inc. Water - Colorado

Big Blue Technologies Chemicals/Advanced Materials - Colorado

Commute Matters Inc. Transportation - Colorado

Crystal Clear Technologies Inc. Water - Arizona

Global Village Power LLC Energy Efficiency - Colorado

Helios Products LLC Green Building - Utah

iLumens Energy Efficiency - Utah

InCycle Water Water - Arizona

Larix Chemical Science LLC Chemicals/Advanced Materials - Colorado

nanoMetallix Chemicals/Advanced Materials - Colorado

Reef Life Restoration Water - Utah

Urbix Resources LLC Chemicals/Advanced Materials - Arizona

Wave Solar Technologies Energy Efficiency - Colorado

Well Water Data - Colorado 

Over the next few months, the teams will receive coaching from Cleantech Open’s network of talented business mentors, one-on-one consulting with specialists, an intensive business boot camp at the Cleantech Open National Academy, and extensive local supporting events, training and materials. This support helps each team develop a comprehensive business plan and investor pitch that will be presented to professional investors and experts to determine which teams will advance to the finals.

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COBRT Welcomes DOE Assistant Deputy Secretary to Hear from Members

Last week, Colorado Business Roundtable (COBRT) welcomed David Mohler, Assistant Deputy Secretary of Energy from the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Fossil Energy Carbon Management, to our city and to our office. 

On June 23, 2016 representatives from several of the region's energy companies and other related interest groups joined COBRT at the CAP Logistics headquarters in Denver. Mohler heard from a variety of companies including, but not limited to, BP, Cloud Peak Energy, Standard Alcohol and Westmoreland Coal Company. Organizations included Colorado Cleantech Industries Association, Colorado Farm Bureau, Colorado Mining Association, Colorado Oil and Gas Association, Colorado Petroleum Association and University of Wyoming.

COBRT founder Gayle Dendinger and its president Jeff Wasden were in attendance as well as CAP Logistics' Vice President of Sales and Marketing John Boner. Wasden explained how the reach of the COBRT network allows its members to have this type of interaction with high-level personnel when they make visitations from Washington, D.C. "Colorado Business Roundtable ensures that the voices of our sponsors and members are heard loud and clear," he said.

Mohler also toured sites around the Denver metro area which relate to the energy industry in its varied iterations. COBRT joined him at Colorado School of Mines and National Renewable Energy Laboratory. 

"Energy and Environment" is identified as one of COBRT's nine Key Issues as well as Business Roundtable's. Stay tuned for future opportunities to have your voice heard by top industry leaders.

Mohler also toured sites around the Denver metro area which relate to the energy industry, such as here at the Colorado School of Mines.

Mohler also toured sites around the Denver metro area which relate to the energy industry, such as here at the Colorado School of Mines.

Western Governors Explore ESA, Biosecurity, Innovation with Thought Leaders in Wyoming

Colorado had a strong presence as the region's top leaders convened for the Western Governors' Association Annual Meeting held June 12-14, 2016 in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Colorado Business Roundtable President Jeff Wasden attended and was pleased to see other Coloradans (in addition to Gov. John Hickenlooper, of course) also involved in the meeting.

Specifically, George (Skip) Noe, City Manager for Aurora, Colorado joined the Governors on a roundtable panel entitled "New Western Economic Frontiers" to speak about Aurora's successful public and private partnerships for a more diversified economy. Many companies with Colorado headquarters or an otherwise strong presence here were also in attendance, including but not limited to Anadarko Petroleum Corporation, The Anschutz Corporation, Black Hills Corporation, Comcast/NBC Universal, Encana, Freeport-McMoRan, Newmont Mining Corporation, Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, Inc., Union Pacific Railroad, Vail Resorts, Whiting Petroleum Corporation and Xcel Energy.

Here is a brief recap of meeting highlights, top quotes and resources as presented by WGA:

Nine Western Governors engaged in three days of dynamic discussions with Cabinet Secretaries and leading experts last week at the 2016 WGA Annual Meeting.

WGA Chairman and Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead released a report, as well as a policy resolution, on the successful first year of his Species Conservation and Endangered Species Act Initiative. Gov. Mead then passed the Chairman's gavel to Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, who announced that his central initiative will focus on improving forest and rangeland management.

Other Western Governors at the meeting included: Doug Ducey (Arizona), John Hickenlooper (Colorado), C.L. "Butch" Otter (Idaho), Brian Sandoval (Nevada), Jack Dalrymple (North Dakota), Dennis Daugaard (South Dakota), and Gary Herbert (Utah). Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon delivered a keynote. 

Annual Meeting Highlights

Following are highlights of the remarks from speeches and panel sessions during the 2016 Annual Meeting:

Day 1: National Parks, Dayton Duncan

"The National Park idea says each one of you is the owner of stunning mountains and breathtaking canyons. And all that is required in return is that you put it in your will for your children so that they can have it too." From Dayton Duncan's moving National Parks presentation that elicited a standing ovation.

"The least studied species in Yellowstone is humans." From the panel on the next 100 years of the National Park system with Yellowstone Superintendent Dan Wenk.

Day 2: Biosecurity, Innovation, Chairman's Initiative

"If you care, as Western Governors do, about species and conservation, you also have to care about making the ESA operate at the most effective level possible." Read more about Gov. Matt Mead's thoughts on the first year of his Chairman's Initiative. 

"The current change in the energy sector presents both opportunity and challenge." From Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz's keynote on energy sector innovation.

"We've learned a lot from your states." From Interior Secretary Sally Jewell's keynote on Department priorities and opportunities for partnerships with Western Governors.

Day 3: New Leadership, Economic Development

"This will not be an easy task, and will require folks from all walks of life and all political leanings to be willing to engage in a productive dialogue." From Gov. Steve Bullock's upcoming Chairman's Initiative on forest and rangeland management.

New Policy Resolutions

Western Governors have approved seven new policy resolutions on land exchanges, invasive species, wildfires, abandoned mines, species conservation, energy development, and National Parks. 

  • Federal-State Land Exchanges and Purchases: Western Governors call on Congress to simplify and expedite the federal-state land exchange, sale and conveyance processes to resolve the checkerboard land tenure issue in the West. 

  • Combating Invasive Species: Western Governors support coordinated invasive species management including early detection and rapid response programs to ensure that actions result in more on-the-ground prevention, management and eradication.

  • Wildland Fire Management and Resilient Landscapes: Governors call on Congress and the Administration to address issues, including "fire borrowing," that would mitigate wildfire danger in western states and promote healthy forests and rangelands.

  • Cleaning Up Abandoned Mines in the West: Governors call on Congress to legally protect volunteer remediating parties, including local and state government agencies, which conduct clean up, from becoming legally responsible under the Clean Water Act for any continuing discharges from the abandoned mine site after completion of a cleanup project.

  • Species Conservation and the Endangered Species Act: Governors believe that statutory changes to the Endangered Species Act (ESA) should be developed in a fashion that results in broad bipartisan support and maintains the intent of the ESA to protect and recover imperiled species. 

  • Energy and Transmission: Governors recognize that not every state approaches energy use and development in the same way, but remain committed to seeing states develop policies and use their energy endowments to the maximum benefit of their citizens, the region, and the nation. 

  • National Parks and the West: Western Governors recognize the importance of National Parks in preserving unique natural treasures, providing recreational opportunities, and contributing to local and state economies throughout the United States.

Read, download all seven resolutions

This page has been compiled directly from WGA communications. For additional information, contact Joe Rassenfoss, Communications Director of the Western Governors' Association at 303-803-8008 or via email.

Join the conversation with Western Govs Assoc. @westgov and COBRT @coloradoBRT.

Now Accepting Applications for the 2016 Oil & Gas Cleantech Challenge

In continued support of a collaborative approach to lessen the environmental impact of energy generation and development, Colorado Cleantech Industries Association (CCIA) is hosting the third annual Oil & Gas Cleantech Challenge on September 1, 2016 in Denver, CO.

As the oil and natural gas industry evolves and faces challenging markets, they continue to invest in technologies that address methane mitigation, resource usage, water quality and operational risk. Through the OGCC, CCIA brings together innovative early stage companies and oil and natural gas leaders to identify technology solutions for these challenges.

Interested cleantech companies will enter a competitive vetting process, after which 10-12 companies will be invited to present their technologies to the oil and natural gas partners. Applications are due on July 15, 2016. 

Apply Today 

For more information, please contact Mary Austin,



Negative Economic Impacts of Energy Setback Initiative 40 Times Worse

DENVER (June 15, 2016) – The news continues to worsen for the proponents of Initiative #78, which aims to add mandatory 2,500-foot setbacks from new and existing oil and natural gas operations. Earlier this month, the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) released a report detailing that the proposed setbacks would ban 90% of Colorado from future energy development. The report drew the ire of business leaders around the state.

“As we’ve said all along, the extremists behind this ballot issue want to chase our energy sector and the 100,000 jobs it provides out of Colorado,” said Vital for Colorado Board Chair and local attorney Peter Moore. “The setback initiative would have a devastating impact on our energy sector and the thousands of other local businesses whose livelihoods rely on partnering with the industry.”

The setback initiative received another blow this week following a report by the United States Geological Survey (USGS). The report finds that Colorado’s Piceance Basin, thanks to a new assessment of the Mancos Shale formation within the Piceance, may have 40 times more natural gas reserves than previously thought making it the second largest field of recoverable natural gas in the United States. While many, particularly on the jobs-starved West Slope, celebrated the news, it was quickly overshadowed by the looming setback ballot initiative that would ban access to these vast natural gas reserves.

Colorado’s Piceance Basin primarily overlays Garfield and Rio Blanco counties. According to the COGCC setback study, these counties will be the most affected by Initiative #78 banning future energy development in 98.9% of Garfield County and 99.2% of Rio Blanco County.

“The USGS study was certainly welcome news for our West Slope communities because it offers an optimistic future to many families and individuals,” said Rifle Area Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Andrea Maddalone. “Sadly, the initiative proponents aim to stifle that hope.”

While the proposed initiative hasn’t yet qualified for the ballot, paid petition gatherers are collecting signatures in the Denver Metro area to put the constitutional question on the November ballot.

“I know when Coloradans across the state learn more about the damaging effects to our urban and rural economies, they’ll loudly voice their opposition and decline to sign these petitions,” Maddalone concluded.

Rich Coolidge
(720) 420-4255

CU-Boulder Researchers to Develop Energy-Saving Window Film

The Energy Department’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) has awarded the University of Colorado Boulder $1.8 million to develop an innovative window coating that could significantly improve energy efficiency in buildings.

The team is using liquid crystals, widely known for their technological use in smart phones and flat panel HD televisions, to create a transparent, solid film that is thermally insulating, soundproof and water condensation-proof.  The team is led by physics Associate Professor Ivan Smalyukh and mechanical engineering Professor Ronggui Yang.

“Buildings consume about 40 percent of the energy expended annually in the United States,” said Yang. “We think we can dramatically increase the energy efficiency of windows without compromising transparency and other functions.”

The liquid crystal-based aerogel - a synthetic, porous and ultralight material - can be created by using rod-like, cellulose nanoparticles, each with a diameter nearly a million times smaller than a grain of sand, said Smalyukh. Derived from food industry waste or glucose with the help of a specific bacteria grown by the team, the rod-like nanoparticles spontaneously self-assemble into a liquid crystal, he said.

A key step in the process is to replace the water in the liquid crystal material with air, transforming it into flexible aerogel film.

“The material will be lightweight, insulating, mechanically stable, flexible and inexpensive,” said Smalyukh.

The cellulose-based liquid crystals are designed to self-organize and can be “pre-engineered” to assure transparency in the visible light range and high reflectivity in a selected part of the infrared spectrum that keeps the buildings cool or warm as needed. Dubbed AIR FILM by the team, the aerogel material is more than 99 percent air.

Both graduate students and postdoctoral researchers will be involved in the effort, said Smalyukh, also a fellow at the Renewable and Sustainable Energy Institute (RASEI). RASEI is a joint institute of CU-Boulder and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory headquartered in Golden.

The grant is part of the ARPA-E’s Single-Pane Insulating Efficient Lucid Design (SHIELD) program. The SHIELD program is expected to accelerate the development of materials that could cut in half the amount of heat lost through single-pane windows without replacing them, said Yang, a faculty affiliate of RASEI.

AIR FILM will have the ability to be laminated on the surface of existing windowpanes. The team aims to produce films that consumers can easily apply, which would decrease costs by eliminating professional installation labor expenses.

The CU-Boulder grant was one of 14 grants totaling $31 million for window-efficient technologies awarded by Energy Department officials. Experts estimate that retrofitting widows rather than replacing them could reduce heat loss and save roughly the amount of electricity needed to power 32 million U.S. homes each year.

In December 2015, the Department of Energy awarded another CU-Boulder research team $4 million over three years to develop an inexpensive, paintable coating to retrofit energy-inefficient windows. The infrared-reflective coating is expected to drastically reduce cooling costs for both residential and commercial structures, helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

RASEI Director Robert McGrath said the new project is a good example of the collaborative energy research happening on campus, including at the new Sustainable Energy and Environmental Complex (SEEC) on the East Campus.

Ivan Smalyukh, 303-492-7277
Ronggui Yang, 303-735-1003
Jim Scott, CU-Boulder media relations, 303-492-3114

Study the Fracking Proposals

Guest column by Robert Golden, Mike Kopp and Jeff Wasden

With the Colorado Supreme Court’s decision preserving responsible energy development in the state, fringe activists will attempt one final Hail Mary aimed at amending the Colorado Constitution.

Backers of four measures targeting oil and gas development in Colorado have begun collecting the 100,000 signatures necessary for them to appear on the November ballot. If successful, they would essentially eventuate with a patchwork of local regulations that would, in effect, ban fracking, undermine property rights and destabilize Colorado’s business environment.

The claim is made that the backers are simply local citizens, merely concerned with protecting their communities. But in reality, their activities are being pushed by out-of-state interests with an agenda quite unlike the citizens of Colorado who welcome the economic boom the oil and gas industry fuels in our state.

Our three organizations, by strong contrast, are deeply rooted in Colorado. We are both local and statewide. Together we represent thousands of the great companies in Colorado who do business across the breadth of the Centennial State. We stand with Vital for Colorado in support of a collaborative, responsive and transparent regulatory system managed at the state level, not the confounding, contradictory one envisioned by some unseen special interest.

While the proposed ballot measures are written to appear reasonable, we wish to be clear: They are de facto bans on fracking.

For example, Initiative 40 would grant unprecedented power to local governments to ban outright any business or industry they don’t like, regardless of state, federal or international law.

Initiative 63 is written so broadly that it would potentially empower nearly anyone to drag another into court over an alleged crime against the environment.

Initiative 75 would further politicize the oil and gas industry by granting local governments broad new regulatory powers that could imperil tens of thousands of jobs in a heartbeat.

Initiative 78 would require oil and gas operators to create an incredible buffer zone (called a setback) of at least a half-mile from things like “open space” areas and intermittent streams. When you consider the lay of the land in some parts of the state it is clear that would mean a ban on fracking.

These initiatives are best seen as blunt instruments aimed at hurting a vital Colorado industry. There is a better way. For starters, we need to let the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission continue implementing the recommendations made recently by the governor’s oil and gas task force. The recommendations are the capstone of a great deal of bipartisan work done by members of the environmental community, elected officials and the oil and gas industry. Let’s give them a chance to work before considering additional changes.

As the signature-gathering efforts move forward, we encourage readers to consider the impact these measures could have on Colorado, including the loss of: billions of dollars in economic activity, hundreds of millions in tax revenues and tens of thousands of jobs.

We believe the best way to achieve economic prosperity and environmental conservation is through dialogue, collaboration and cooperation, as we’ve seen with the governor’s task force. Let’s work together to see that we continue this strong partnership.

Robert Golden is president of the South Metro Denver Chamber of Commerce. Mike Kopp is the executive director of Colorado Concern, an alliance of top business executives with a mission of enhancing the Centennial State’s business climate. Jeff Wasden is president of the Colorado Business Roundtable, an advocate for proactive, pro-business legislation that strengthens the economy and allows businesses to grow and thrive in Colorado and the region. All three serve on the board of directors for Vital for Colorado, a coalition of business, civic and economic development leaders along with more than 56,000 Coloradans from across the state dedicated to supporting and promoting the benefits of energy production in Colorado.

[This op-ed was originally published at Centennial Citizen.]

Denver Regional Council of Governments Honors The WISE Project With a 2016 Metro Vision Award

DENVER (April 28, 2016) – The South Metro WISE Authority received a 2016 Metro Vision Award from the Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG) for The WISE project. The award was presented by Elise Jones, DRCOG Chair and Chair of the Boulder County Board of Commissioners, at DRCOG’s Annual Awards celebration, held April 27 at the Westin DIA.

The Water Infrastructure and Supply Efficiency Partnership (WISE) is a regional water supply project between Aurora Water, Denver Water and members of the South Metro Water Supply Authority. First conceived in 2008, the partnership combines water supplies and system capacities to create a sustainable new water supply for the region.

According to Rick Marsicek, Director of Engineering for the South Metro Water Supply Authority (SMWSA), “this project is one of the first of its kind in the country and it has broad support from across the State of Colorado. The WISE Partnership will benefit roughly two million people and it will bring a sustainable water supply to south metro communities.” When water deliveries begin in early 2017, some of Colorado’s fastest-growing communities will be able to partially replace non-renewable groundwater.

At the same time, Denver Water will receive a new back-up supply, and Aurora Water will receive funding to help offset costs of its Prairie Waters project and the West Slope will receive new funding for water supply, watershed and water quality projects.

WISE is one part of South Metro Water’s broader plan for a sustainable water future. The plan focuses on three areas: conservation and efficiency; infrastructure investment; and partnership among local and regional water suppliers. The region has made tremendous progress over the past decade, reducing per capita water use by more than 30 percent and making significant investments in water infrastructure.

DRCOG’s Metro Vision awards are presented to individuals and programs who contribute outstanding efforts to the Denver region and its communities, and to DRCOG’s programs and activities. The regional council has been honoring outstanding achievements for more than 30 years.

The Denver Regional Council of Governments is a planning organization where local governments collaborate to establish guidelines, set policy and allocation finding in the areas of:

• Transportation and personal mobility
• Growth and development
• Aging and disability resources