Colorado lawmakers working hard to balance rights of oil & gas industry, safety of residents

Posted at 2:30 PM, Jun 04, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-04 18:57:34-04

The oil and gas industry is huge in Colorado, and finding the balance between industry and the rights of citizens can be tough.

“First and foremost, the safety of our citizens has to come first,” State Representative Cole Wist, R-Arapahoe County, told Anne Trujillo on this week’s Politics Unplugged. Wist talked about the public reaction after two deadly explosions in northern Colorado. “I think folks need to understand that we have heard loud and clear that there are concerns about how this industry operates in our state.”

But Rep. Wist says it’s important to remember the big role the industry plays in Colorado’s economy.

“You have to balance that with the energy interests and energy needs that our state has,” the representative added.  “This industry provides good high paying jobs, tax revenue for our communities and has been a good corporate citizen over the years. While there are certainly challenges here, there are certainly a balance of interests that need to happen.”

Rep. Wist also addressed the controversy surrounding President Donald Trump’s announcement that the U.S. is pulling out of the Paris Climate Agreement. 

“I think it was an interesting decision,” he said, noting that Senate never ratified that treaty. “I think climate change is an important issue that we need to discuss and the president has said he thinks the negotiations table needs to be open as far as what those terms are and I hope we will continue to have that conversation.”


Politics Unplugged airs Sundays at 4:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Denver7.