Mountain States

Report: Colorado Oil and Natural Gas Industry Making Significant Strides In Reducing Emissions 

This week the Colorado Oil & Gas Association released its highly anticipated 2022 Community Impact Report, highlighting the industry’s ongoing commitment to environmental progress and community development in Colorado.  

The report showcases significant strides in emissions reduction, community support, and sustainable development, reflecting the oil and natural gas industry’s commitment to both Colorado’s environment and its residents. 

Environmental Progress and Emissions Reduction 

 One of the central themes of COGA’s report is the industry’s commitment to environmental stewardship. Key highlights sourced from Ramboll, a leading environmental health consultancy, show: 

  • A remarkable 57 percent decrease in total non-attainment area volatile organic compounds from 2011 to 2020. 
  • A 65 percent decline in ethane concentrations from 2013 to 2019. 
  • A significant 50 percent reduction in ambient methane concentrations from oil and gas operations between 2013 and 2019. 

COGA President Dan Haley emphasized the industry’s dedication to emissions reduction, highlighting technological innovation and regulatory initiatives that have contributed to the positive trend:  

“Colorado leads the nation when it comes to monitoring and regulating emissions, tank inspections, leak detection and repair, groundwater protection, and the plugging and reclaiming of wells. Colorado’s oil and natural gas industry has seen significant emissions reductions in recent years because of technological innovation and regulatory initiatives. Our industry is on track to meet the state’s robust greenhouse gas targets.” 

One of the major industry players that helped boost emission reductions in 2022 was Civitas Resources, Colorado’s first carbon-neutral energy producer. The company recently released its own 2023 sustainability report, which highlighted its commitment to reduce its scope 1 greenhouse gas emissions by a massive 50 percent by 2027. As Ariana Solis, an ESG & Sustainability Specialist at Civitas, said:  

“At the end of the day, I think everyone wants Colorado to be the best state to live, work, and play, and it’s crucial we all chip in to make that a reality.” 

Industry Efforts and Community Support 

The 2022 report showcases the impressive efforts of COGA members to support their communities and improve the lives of Coloradans. With over 370 organizations supported statewide, COGA members contributed to a range of causes, including youth and education, underserved populations, culture, environment, health, and veterans’ initiatives. 

Notable organizations that received support include the American Red Cross, Children’s Hospital Colorado, Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame, Food for Thought – Denver, Freedom Service Dogs, and more. The report underscores COGA members’ dedication to making Colorado a better place to live, work, and play. 

Volunteerism and Monetary Contributions 

In 2022, COGA members demonstrated their commitment to community improvement through both volunteerism and monetary contributions. Member employees collectively volunteered an impressive total of 17,225 hours during the year, contributing to various community initiatives. Since 2017, COGA members have volunteered close to 301,000 hours. 

Monetary contributions were equally impactful. In 2022, COGA members donated $25,118,549 to community agencies, addressing critical needs such as disaster relief and energy assistance. These contributions brought the six-year COGA member-giving total to an impressive $70,364,422. 

Supporting Education and Equitable Development 

The report also highlights the Colorado Energy Foundation’s support for key organizations, including A Precious Child, Colorado Youth Outdoors, Emily Griffith Foundation, Energy Outreach Colorado, Growing Home, Urban Peak, and WeeCycle. These organizations focus on essential aspects of community development, such as youth empowerment, education, housing, and outreach. 

Supporting Colorado’s Growth and Well-being 

COGA’s 2022 Community Impact Report reflects the industry’s dedication to both environmental responsibility and community development. By achieving significant emissions reductions and contributing to a wide range of community initiatives, COGA members continue to play a vital role in Colorado’s growth and well-being. 2022 distributions from severance taxes from oil and gas operators totaled $86,100,297 and went to more than 300 cities and counties across the state, funding everything from schools, to fire departments, to public libraries.  

Additionally, more than $100 million annually goes into Colorado schools through the state’s Building Equitable Schools Today (BEST) grant program, which is largely funded by oil and gas mineral leases. 

Bottom Line: With a focus on sustainability, innovation, and social responsibility, the oil and natural gas industry remains a driving force for positive community contributions and environmental responsibility in Colorado. 

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