Most Colorado voters back more oil and gas development, survey finds

Sixty-eight percent of registered Colorado voters said they were more likely to back a candidate who supports developing more oil and gas, a survey commissioned by the Colorado Petroleum Council found.

The American Petroleum Institute affiliate released the telephone survey’s findings a day before the third Republican presidential candidates’ debate was to be held at the University of Colorado at Boulder. The debate, hosted by CNBC, focuses on jobs and the economy.

“This poll shows that energy is a top issue for voters next year because it plays a key role in job creation and economic growth,” CPC Executive Director Tracee Bentley said on Oct. 27 in Denver.

“Colorado voters understand the opportunities that prodevelopment policies create and the need for an all-of-the-above energy policy that helps produce more domestic energy and lower energy costs for American consumers,” Bentley said.

Harris Poll randomly interviewed 604 registered Colorado voters by telephone over Oct. 15-18 for API. Eighty-two percent responded that producing more oil and gas domestically is important, while 72% said they support increased US oil and gas production. Asked if they thought the federal government does enough to encourage domestic oil and gas resource development, 53% said no.

Eighty-five percent agreed with a statement that increased access to US oil and gas resources could lead to more jobs, according to the survey. It said that:

• 83% agreed that such access could help stimulate the broader US economy.

• 83% said it could help strengthen US energy security.

• 79% said it could help reduce consumers’ energy costs.

• 69% said it could help increase US influence as a global energy power and enable it to assist allies in Europe and elsewhere who need energy supplies.

“Candidates in tomorrow’s debate should take this opportunity to discuss the smart energy policies that concern Coloradans, growing our nation’s still shaky economy, creating well-paying jobs and maintaining our nation’s global energy leadership,” Bentley suggested.

Conservation groups recommended that the debate’s moderators and participants also discuss global climate change’s economic implications.

“Four Republican candidates have issued their energy proposals so far, and all of them ignore the expensive threat posed by climate change,” League of Conservation Voters Senior Vice-Pres. of Campaigns Daniel J. Weiss said in Washington.

“Instead, their big polluting funders would receive a free pass to emit limitless amounts of carbon pollution and accelerate climate change,” he said. “These plans would double-down on our reliance on outdated, dirty fossil fuels, which would hurt Americans’ pocketbooks.”

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

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