More than one-third of the Earth’s population — some three billion people — use wood, animal dung and garbage to provide heat and fuel for cooking.
In Europe, as winter approaches in 2022, wood has become a valuable commodity. Europeans, because of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the world’s response to it, are facing a severe shortage of natural gas to heat their homes. They are resorting to wood.
All of that is shocking, and it goes to the heart of a huge issue in Colorado. It’s an issue that I’ll put front and center as your representative in the Colorado Legislature.
Colorado is a significant producer of energy in the United States. Energy production is a significant driver of the economy in western Colorado. The American Petroleum Institute estimates that there are 69,000 people employed directly, and another 270,000 indirectly, in energy production in Colorado.
Unfortunately, both the Polis and Biden administrations are pursuing energy policies that will do nothing but make that number smaller and smaller. Their goal seems to be making it more and more difficult for energy producers to their job.
For these exact reasons, I’m an “all of the above” supporter for energy development. I support continued development of fossil fuels, including in western Colorado. I also support the responsible development of wind and solar. I support nuclear energy. I support the development of hydrogen. I support the continued build-out of an infrastructure for electric vehicles.
But I’m realistic about all of that. It will not happen quickly. Conversion to new sources of energy will happen, but not in the near future.
I’m hardly alone in my desire to develop a variety of energy sources.
A recent poll by the Pew Research Center found that Americans, by a 2-to-1 majority believe energy security lies in developing a broad mix of energy sources
It’s doubtful that I’ll ever see that staggering number of three billion people heating and cooking with garbage, animal dung and scavenged wood change much. But this is one thing I know: In western Colorado we are sitting on a huge supply of natural gas, a commodity that could be used to alleviate much suffering in the world, and could be used to counteract the reduced supply of fuel in Europe.
I will work whole-heartedly to keep western Colorado a leader in energy production. That’s good public policy that will create jobs for us and maybe, just maybe, make the world a better place.