It’s always tempting to boil down the presentations at the annual Energy Forum & Expo in Grand Junction into two terse statements: energy good, regulation bad.
Reality is far more complicated and nuanced, of course. Energy production is good — great, in fact — in meeting the increasing demands of a world that runs on electricity and transportation fuels. Regulations are needed as well to make sure energy is produced in a manner that’s safe for the environment as well as the workers involved in the process. Nobody likes oil spills or mine accidents, least of all the energy industry. Moreover, regulations maintain a level playing field for those companies that do it right and those companies that would try to skirt the law in making a buck. However, it’s also true the energy industry continues to face the threat of regulations that are excessive or simply unnecessary.
Given the ongoing necessity of energy production, not to mention the substantial economic benefits involved with the process, it’s important to strike a balance. Presentations at the Energy Forum & Expo offer a reminder of what’s possible with thoughtful policies based on facts: energy good, regulation good.