Observers: Piceance Basin remains crucial to WPX even under new leadership

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Isn’t it interesting that this company, one that is still operating in the Piceance Basin, never once mentioned regulations in an interview with a reporter that turned into a very long and informative article? This industry is market driven, and the markets are simply better elsewhere for the time being. There will be another boom, but it won’t be driven by a call to energy security. It will be driven by a desire to exploit the profit potential of exporting our natural gas to China.

We need to stop beating the regulation drum, and start focusing on industries that aren’t subject to boom and bust markets. We live in a beautiful valley that is a regional medical center, yet we don’t see in depth stories like this about the strategies of the local medical sector. Nor do we see how many good local jobs are in the medical field, even though it is important enough to have CMU develop programs around it.

Likewise it is popular to say that governments don’t create jobs, but one of the largest employers in Mesa County is, in fact, funded by government dollars—all of our schools, including CMU, are the recipient of tax dollars. When you see a road being repaired or built, you also see our tax dollars at work. Even Tourism has an agency that promotes visitors to our valley that receives funding from local governments. It is past time to look at all of the resources that we have here in Mesa County and find ways of encouraging and building economic diversity. By the way we have an economic development partnership that also gets government funding.

Government is not the enemy. Regulations is not the enemy. The enemy is a lack of focus on the things that make our Valley a wonderful place to live and visit. This newspaper quoted our Governor as saying that what is lacking is an “electricity” about development. The buzz that he is talking about can be felt in communities that are dedicated to economic diversity because they aren’t as impacted by boom and bust cycles. We need leaders who will promote new economic development instead of those who are simply repeating old, and false talking points about one industry that leaves as frequently as it invests.

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