If you didn’t catch it, the Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation’s Colorado Energy Coalition (CEC) put out their annual Resource Rich Colorado report. We recommend you take a moment to read this report, which highlights Colorado’s balanced energy economy, informs public discussion on responsible energy development.”
Sixth Annual Resource Rich Colorado highlights Colorado’s balanced energy economy, informs public discussion on responsible energy development
December 16, 2014, Janet Fritz – The Colorado Energy Coalition (CEC), an industry affiliate of the Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation (Metro Denver EDC), today released its annual study highlighting Colorado’s competitiveness in the oil, natural gas, coal, renewables, power, and environment and sustainability sectors of the energy industry.
In its sixth edition, Resource Rich Colorado (RRC) compares Colorado to the 49 other states based on the availability of natural resources for energy generation, relevant energy policies and programs, pertinent intellectual and innovation resources vital to the energy industry, and the state’s employment and industry growth.
“Now in its sixth year, Resource Rich Colorado is regarded as a balanced source of reliable energy analysis,” said Tom Clark, CEO of the Metro Denver EDC. “Our goal is to position longitudinal energy research in order to move beyond politics. By educating and informing our state legislators and the public, Colorado is positioned to chart a course for responsible energy discussion and development.”
Clark noted the work currently underway by Governor Hickenlooper’s oil and gas task force as a positive example of both sides of Colorado’s balanced energy economy working together cooperatively, while keeping Colorado’s economy at the forefront.
Energy policies that distinguish Colorado from its competitor states in the energy industry include:
New employment data included in RRC shows robust job growth in the energy industry. Colorado ranked sixth in the nation for cleantech industry employment concentration in 2014. Directly employing 23,410 people, employment rose by 5.3 percent over the previous year, with 1,170 new positions added. Five-year employment growth of 29.1 percent was nearly double the U.S. growth rate. Colorado is ninth in fossil fuels employment, with the same one-year growth rate of 5.3 percent, 2,380 new jobs added, and 29.5 percent five-year job growth.
A noteworthy trend from this year’s report include the fact that coal production is decreasing nationwide and in Colorado, with the state posting a 5.8 percent average annual decrease in production during the past five years. However, Colorado coal is considered high-quality, and is in high demand by utilities across the country working to meet Clean Air Act requirements.
When it comes to environment and sustainability, Colorado has made notable strides in combating emissions through improved efficiencies. In addition, the state is a leader in the built-space environment, ranking among the top-10 states for LEED-certified space per capita.
The report also cites that while Colorado’s energy industry is benefiting from unprecedented success, the state’s energy companies continue to face significant regulatory and political uncertainty. Of note, the federal renewable electricity Production Tax Credit (PTC) only received a short-term extension through 2013, with congress currently debating a retroactive extension for 2014. Ambiguity surrounding tax reform and budgetary constraints continue to cloud the future of the PTC.
“Despite some level of regulatory and political uncertainty, Colorado’s competitive advantages of having a low income tax, moderate business costs, and a diverse resource base continue to attract and retain companies in the energy and natural resource sector,” said Clark.
» Resource Rich Colorado Executive Summary (PDF)
» Resource Rich Colorado Full Study (PDF)
About the Colorado Energy Coalition
Formed in 2006, the Colorado Energy Coalition (CEC) is an industry affiliate of the Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation. The CEC is a diverse organization dedicated to strengthening the business climate in Colorado that supports all sectors within the energy industry-fossil fuels, cleantech, energy efficiency, and conservation. CEC members represent the industry, finance, law, government, education, and economic development organizations. The CEC is housed at and staffed by the Metro Denver EDC. The CEC's Competitive Analysis Committee conducts research on Colorado's competitive position in energy in the national and global energy economies, results of which are published in the annual Resource Rich Colorado report. To learn more, see www.metrodenver.org/cec.
CEC Media contact: Janet Fritz - Senior Director, Marketing and Technology, Metro Denver Economic Development Corp., 303.475.4194