Chris Walker of The Daily Poster attended a fossil fuel industry conference. He noted that while a keynote panel was titled “Combating Climate Change Together,” the combat was directed more at science and real-life efforts to address the climate crisis.
A major rebranding effort is currently under way as fossil fuel interests like the Colorado Oil and Gas Association (COGA) and its members position themselves not as climate change deniers, but as staunch, even proactive, allies in reducing emissions and reaching carbon neutrality. Other summit panels, including “Mitigating Greenhouse Gases” and “Investing in the New-Energy Space,” suggested that the latest iteration of this conference would be unlike any in the past.“There Is No Climate Crisis”
He noted the impact of the Colorado fossil fuel industry on the state’s political initiatives.
Colorado’s oil and gas industry has grown into the nation’s seventh-largest energy market, with over 100,000 employees and an estimated $19-billion a year impact on the state’s economy. It has reached that point by flexing its political muscle, having spent $82 million on state elections since 2016, and millions more on local lobbying.
The result is significant political sway: The industry got the state’s Democratic governor and legislators to water down a major climate bill by removing a cap-and-trade approach to emissions reduction before the legislation passed the bill earlier this summer, even though Colorado was already behind on hitting its emission reduction targets.
And a telling exchange at lunch:
Conversation turned to the terrible wildfires in California that were pouring so much smoke across the American West.
“I just wish we could do something about it,” said Haggart.