Speaker: Natural gas innovations could be Grand Junction’s next legacy in state

PHOTO BY CHRISTOPHER TOMLINSON—Joe Prinster was one of the first board members of the Mesa County Economic Development Council in 1984.Joe is with his son Dan Prinster.Today, the organization will celebrate its 25th anniversary with a luncheon at 11:30 a.m. at Two Rivers Convention Center.Sent as GJEP 11-5 1.

Natural gas fueling stations and vehicles that run on liquefied natural gas may be Grand Junction’s next legacy in Colorado, according to the keynote speaker Thursday at the Grand Junction Economic Partnership’s 25th anniversary luncheon in Grand Junction.

The speaker, Don Marostica, director of the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade, said Colorado and the country as a whole are in a “chicken and egg” situation. They are trying to figure out whether natural gas fueling stations should become more plentiful before or after more vehicles are equipped to use natural gas for fuel. Marostica said both changes need to be done soon.

“There shouldn’t be a semi in the state that doesn’t run on liquefied natural gas,” he said.

Grand Junction can help the change come faster, he added.

“Gas and minerals, that’s what’s going to make you shine in the future,” Marostica said, referring to Grand Junction.

Marostica said communities across Colorado can expect economic ups and downs for at least the next 50 years. To make the ride smoother, he suggested breaking the state into sectors and having each of those sectors create or revise a strategic plan outlining what the area can offer businesses that is unique from other parts of the state and the rest of the nation.

“Now is not the time to let up,” Marostica said. “You can’t opt out of the race. You’ve got a lot of competition, even in the state of Colorado.”

He cited Pueblo as an example of a community with a business edge. Pueblo has constructed ready-to-move-into buildings for recruited businesses.

Arizona and Nevada may also pose a threat in the competition to bring businesses to western Colorado. Marostica said Nevada, for example, has no business or property taxes.

Marostica advised clearing a wide path to win the competition.

“There needs to be all green lights” for newcomers, he said.


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