Energy Production Versus Energy Consumption: How Do We Bridge the Gap Through Effective Communication?
- Deb Ryan | Lisa Hamil (Energy 360) | Ahna Mee (Union Rock) | Kathryn Mills (Crude Audacity)
- Document ID
- Unconventional Resources Technology Conference
- SPE/AAPG/SEG Unconventional Resources Technology Conference, 20-22 July, Virtual
- Publication Date
- Document Type
- Conference Paper
- 2020. Unconventional Resources Technology Conference
- 7 in the last 30 days
- 34 since 2007
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In 2017, according to EIA data, Colorado was the seventh largest energy producing state in the United States. Colorado’s existing regulatory environment has proven to deliver effective and responsible oil and gas development across the state. Yet, despite having some of the most progressive and stringent development regulations within the United States, Colorado’s oil and gas industry is still confronted with substantial opposition.
Historically, the narrative of the oil and gas industry has been one of jobs, tax revenues, and other various examples of economic prosperity. Despite fact-based messaging and the defeat of a 2018 ballot initiative for 2500 ft setbacks, 2019 has seen a continued increase in opposition to development accompanied by a notable influx of additional regulatory efforts, all driven by growing public concern.
In a social environment where the predominant message is the call for the replacement of fossil fuels with alternative energies, such as wind and solar, our industry is facing an Energy Polarity Dilemma, thus further promoting a negative "us vs them" mentality between industry and the general public. There is a mentality of "not in my backyard" from the opposition that would like to see oil and gas operations driven out of the state, despite no evident reduction in energy consumption levels. As Operators in Colorado are forced to curtail operations, local energy customers will be forced to rely on energy from other States, where opposition and regulations are not as prolific. As a result, local energy costs will come at a premium to those same users opposing Colorado’s oil and gas development.
Questions that must be addressed and managed by industry include; How can we more effectively communicate to younger generations/current demographics about our environmentally responsible development in Colorado versus other locales? How do we change and challenge the "us vs them" narrative? And finally, how do we successfully promote energy clarity and the need and role of fossil fuels in daily life.
In order to change the conversation, industry needs to develop a better educational campaign for local communities. There are some groups working towards this conversation, however it’s often polarizing and confrontational. Industry is viewed as unwilling to change and not significantly addressing environmental and safety concerns. The jobs and economic prosperity positions seem self-serving and out of touch. There needs to be Catered Education, re-addressing grassroots efforts for energy clarity, and utilizing modern communication strategies to more effectively educate consumers about energy clarity, such as social media presence.
We need to help consumers understand the total role that fossil fuels play in our everyday lives. We need to consider who is delivering the message and how this may be perceived in different communities. And this communication strategy needs to be established for Colorado and a wider national audience.
|File Size||311 KB||Number of Pages||10|