Last month a delegation of civic and business leaders from the Grand Valley visited Washington D.C. to advocate for the completion of the Jordan Cove pipeline project and highlight Western Colorado’s role in the global trade of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and other energy export products. The visit was coordinated with the office of U.S. Senator Cory Garner (R-Colo.) and occurred in concert with the Colorado Capital Conference June 21-23.
The delegation consisted of Mesa County Commissioner Rose Pugliese (R); Derek Wagner, Vice President for Intergovernmental and Community Affairs at Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction; David Ludlam, Executive Director at West Slope Colorado Oil & Gas Association (WSCOGA); and Kristi Pollard, Executive Director of the Grand Junction Economic Partnership. Rio Blanco County Commissioner Shawn Bolton also participated.
The delegation met with members of the U.S. State Department; Chairman Cheryl A. LaFleur of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC); Mike Cantanzaro, Special Assistant to the President for Energy National Economic Council; and Lucian “Lou” Pugliaresi, President of the Energy Policy Research Foundation (EPRINC).
“I am pleased to have been a part of the delegation touting the economic benefits of the Jordan Cove project in Washington, D.C.,” said Pollard. “From the State Department to FERC, to the White House, we heard resounding support for changing the economy in rural America and creating new export markets for LNG.”
“The positive response we received at each of our meetings was heartening,” added Wagner. “It is clear that our efforts in D.C. were appreciated last week, and that we should keep pushing the potential of the Piceance Basin every chance we get.”
Commissioner Pugliese asserted, “I am grateful to have had an opportunity to advocate to high level Trump Administration officials on behalf of the Jordan Cove project and the opportunities this project will bring for job and business growth to our Northwest Colorado counties.”
One year ago, under the previous Administration, FERC rejected a $5.3 billion proposal to build a natural gas export terminal in Oregon’s Jordan Cove, and a pipeline that would supply LNG from the Piceance Basin to the terminal. The Western Colorado energy industry, including members of the delegation in D.C., have consistently advocated to revisit the proposal.
In January, FERC ignited hopes that the proposal would be approved in a rehearing when it granted a request for a federal pre-filing review process, currently underway.
Jeter Thomas, CFO of Caerus Oil and Gas, which operates in the Piceance Basin, and a member of the WSCOGA, addressed the efforts of the delegation: “Caerus Oil and Gas applauds civic leaders of the Piceance Basin for their hard work opening new markets for Western Colorado natural gas, and forging new relations with possible overseas allies. Their efforts assist Piceance producers as we continue unlocking the basins’ energy and economic potential in the years to come.”
The Grand Junction Economic Partnership (GJEP) and the Unconventional Energy Center at Colorado Mesa University recently released a study titled “The Piceance to the Pacific – The Economic Advantage the Piceance Basin Has Over Other North American Shale Plays”, which emphasizes the manufacturing potential in Western Colorado’s Mancos Shale Energy Reserves and potential for export, particularly to Asian markets. The report, which can be found here, served as a basis of the discussions in D.C.