- A free market think tank leader criticized former Democratic Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper’s claim he brought energy and environmental interests together to support methane regulations.
- “He’s not telling the truth when he says that,” said the Independence Institute’s Amy Oliver Cooke.
- Hickenlooper is running for president in 2020, framing himself as a pragmatic, moderate Democrat.
Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper kicked off his 2020 presidential bid as a pragmatic, moderate Democrat by claiming he brought oil and gas producers and environmentalists together to support regulations on methane emissions.
However, that’s not how Amy Oliver Cooke, director of the Energy and Environmental Policy Center at the free-market Independence Institute, remembered it.
“He’s not telling the truth when he says that,” Cooke told The Daily Caller News foundation in an interview. “It was coercion, it was not collaboration.”
Hickenlooper’s 2020 campaign announcement video highlighted the former governor’s results-driven, pragmatic agenda, including a time he got oil and gas companies and environmentalists to support methane regulations.
“We brought environmentalists and oil-and-gas companies to the table to create the toughest methane emissions laws in the country,” Hickenlooper said in his announcement ad. (RELATED: Is There A Place For Moderate John Hickenlooper In A Democratic Party That Embraces The Green New Deal?)
Former Gov. John Hickenlooper (D-CO) speaks at the United States Conference of Mayors winter meeting in Washington, U.S., January 24, 2019. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas.
“I’m running for president because we need dreamers in Washington, but we also need to get things done,” Hickenlooper said. “I’ve proven again and again I can bring people together to produce the progressive change Washington has failed to deliver.”
However, Cooke said that while major Colorado oil and gas producers supported methane regulations, it was not some voluntary “Kumbaya” moment.
“It was straight-up coercion. They weren’t trying to help the industry be better environmental stewards, they were trying to give Hickenlooper a political win,” Cooke said.
According to Cooke, it all started with an investigation launched in 2012 by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) against Noble Energy, Colorado’s second-largest oil and gas producer.
EPA began monitoring small leaks from Noble’s operations with infrared cameras — methane is a greenhouse gas that’s invisible to the naked eye. EPA didn’t inform Noble about the results of its investigation until 2014.
In the meantime, EPA and CDPHE widened their methane leaks investigation to include other oil and gas companies in the Denver Basin. A source close to the investigation told Cooke in 2017 that EPA and CDPHE put pressure on hydrocarbon producers to settle with the agency.
Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper lays out his plans for the next state legislative session at a news conference in his office at the Capitol in Denver December 19, 2013. REUTERS/Rick Wilking.
“Facing an EPA with an unlimited budget and a legal process that already favors them, an operator’s compulsion to settle is strong,” the source told Cooke. The source added that “CDPHE has filed parallel enforcement actions” and argued every methane leaks from tanks, including self-reported ones.
Ultimately, that “operational standard is unachievable and exceeds even that of the national regulations that were patterned after Colorado’s,” the source said.
Pressured by federal and state regulators, Noble Energy agreed to support first-ever state methane regulations. Colorado’s three largest oil and gas producers — Noble Energy, Anadarko Petroleum and Encana — worked with the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) to craft the rules in 2014.
Those regulations went into effect in 2014 with Hickenlooper’s support. The next year, Noble Energy agreed to a consent decree that could end up costing the company $73.5 million to upgrade its equipment and implement new programs to clamp down on methane emissions.
However, the oil and gas industry was not in lockstep with major producers. The Colorado Oil & Gas Association and Colorado Petroleum Association opposed methane regulations.
A sign marking the location of a natural gas pipeline is seen in Golden, Colorado February 2, 2015. REUTERS/Rick Wilking.
“He worked with a few companies on that deal, not the industry overall,” said Kathleen Sgamma, president of the Western Energy Alliance.
“The Colorado industry is certainly used to the stick of the Hickenlooper Administration, but the liberal wing of the party that has now taken over the state doesn’t think that Hick ever went far enough,” Sgamma told TheDCNF
EDF did not respond to TheDCNF’s request for comment. Likewise, Hickenlooper’s campaign did not respond to TheDCNF’s request for comment.
Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact [email protected].
- Oil companies are facing the moment of truth. The stakes couldn't be higher
- More experts say peak of second wave 'has already PASSED': Scientists further undermine need for national lockdown as study finds R rate is 1 and cases are falling in the North and Scotland
- Should Congress consider a master settlement against Big Oil?
- The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - House boots Greene from committees; Senate plows ahead on budget
- QAnon rep Marjorie Taylor Greene demands GOP reinstates her to House committees and 'correct unprecedented wrong' after she was removed with 11 Republicans joining Democrats to vote her off 230 to 199
- 'Air pollution must be addressed IMMEDIATELY': Global health experts call for urgent action amid fears smog can increase risk of Covid-19 and heart disease
- Democrat Rep. Cori Bush moves office to get away from QAnon Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene who 'threatened' her - as footage surfaces of the Republican saying 'gangs control' black and Hispanic men
- John Krasinski and Pete Davidson LOCK LIPS during opening monologue on SNL after he was bombarded with The Office references: 'I think we gotta give them what they want'
- Britain could vaccinate 24million people by Easter: AstraZeneca say they can deliver 2million doses a week. But with millions more facing Tier 4 lockdown until jab takes effect can Health Secretary get his act together?
- ABUJA SHOW-OF-SHAME: ‘Civil war’ over PIB rages, as oil communities’ factions blow hot
- How PIB’ll promote economic growth, ensure transparency in oil, gas sector — Minister, NNPC, FIRS
- In Marjorie Taylor Greene, a glimpse of the future
- Rehab patients' unpaid work in Louisiana likely illegal; It's 'closest thing to slavery,' participant says
- NFL: Green Bay Packers' Equanimeous St. Brown misses out on Super Bowl
- 'I wish Harry luck, he's gonna need it!' Trump's jab at Prince as he says he is 'not a fan of' Meghan Markle after the pair 'told Americans to vote president out'
- “Failure” of John Eastman appointment shines spotlight on CU Boulder’s conservative Benson Center
- Switzerland REFUSES to approve AstraZeneca jab and says 'new studies' are needed after France, Germany and Sweden rejected it for over-65s
- Outrage as president Macron says Brexit is the product of 'lies and false promises' in annual address delivered hours after his own father denounced him as a 'self-serving' politician
- Travel industry is on its knees AGAIN after new lockdown: TUI cancels ALL holidays until mid-February as airline chiefs say things will 'only get WORSE' - while minsters are set to demand UK arrivals test negative before travelling
- Trump 2024 talk threatens to freeze other GOP hopefuls in place
2020 Hopeful John Hickenlooper’s Bringing Together Oil Companies And Greens Was More ‘Coercion’ Than ‘Kumbaya,’ Expert Says have 1210 words, post on dailycaller.com at March 3, 2019. This is cached page on Talk Vietnam. If you want remove this page, please contact us.