West Slope delegation heartened by response to Jordan Cove efforts

Members of a delegation of business and government leaders from Western Colorado who traveled to Washington, D.C., to push for approval of a liquefied natural gas export terminal said they were heartened by the response.

“From the State Department to the (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) to the White House, we heard resounding support for changing the economy in rural America and creating new export markets for LNG,” said Kristi Pollard, executive director of the Grand Junction Economic Partnership.

Derek Wagner, vice president for intergovernmental and community affairs at Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction, agreed. “The positive response we received at each of our meetings was heartening. It is clear that our efforts in D.C. were appreciated … and that we should keep pushing the potential of the Piceance Basin every chance we get.”

The delegation visited with officials to push for the completion of the proposed Jordan Cove liquefied natural gas export terminal on the Oregon coast as well as pipelines that would transport natural gas from the Piceance Basin in Western Colorado to the terminal. The visit was coordinated with the office of U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner, a Republican from Colorado, and conducted during the Colorado Capital Conference.

In addition to Pollard and Wagner, the delegation included Rose Pugliese, a Mesa County commissioner; David Ludlam, executive director at West Slope Colorado Oil & Gas Association; and Shawn Bolton, a Rio Blanco County commissioner.

The delegation met with members of the State Department; Cheryl LaFleur, chairwoman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission; Mike Cantanzaro, special assistant to the president; and Lucian Pugliaresi, president of the Energy Policy Research Foundation.

“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,” Pugliese said.

The FERC initially rejected a proposal to build the $5.3 billion natural gas export terminal, but in January granted a request for the pre-filing review process now underway.

GJEP and the Unconventional Energy Center at Colorado Mesa University recently released a study of the economic advantages of the Piceance Basin over other natural gas producing regions for its potential for manufacturing and exports, particularly to Asian markets.