The Wild Wild West: Activists Seek to Shut Down Energy Development in Colorado

Date: June 26, 2017

Some environmental activists dream of a bucolic world without motor vehicles, or any real industry. But for the rest of humanity, we would prefer to keep our basic way of life, and to continue to grow our economy—while remaining good stewards of the earth. To be sure, most hardworking Americans believe that government should foster conditions for economic growth, while balancing environmental values. Yet a controversial Colorado lawsuit—Martinez v. COGCC—seeks to deny new permits for energy resource extraction—a move that would harm both the energy industry and the small business community.

NFIB Research Foundation surveys show that energy costs remain a top concern for small business owners in all industries. Of course, there are some regional variations among business owners as to how stringent or lenient environmental regulation should be. But NFIB has balloted Colorado small business owners on this precise issue—with the overwhelming number supporting policies that will encourage oil drilling, fracking and other forms of energy development. These businesses understand how energy costs affect their bottom-line, and how overly burdensome restraints on the energy sector will have negative repercussions throughout the economy.

As such, NFIB Small Business Legal Center once again stepped up to the plate for the small business community in the Colorado Supreme Court. We joined with the National Association of Manufactures in an amicus brief arguing that Colorado authorities can and should balance environmental goals with economic growth. Consequently, authorities should allow regulated oil, gas and fracking projects to proceed. This case could have major ramifications for Coloradans, and for the greater region’s economic prosperity.

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