Continuing work to advance new market access for the West’s natural energy resources, Consumer Energy Alliance and its government partners across the region gathered last week at the Governor’s Energy Summit to expand the Western States and Tribal Nations agreement to include the Wyoming Pipeline Authority.
Led by the Utah Governor’s Office of Energy Development, the WSTN ceremonial signing at the Grand America Hotel in Salt Lake City also included signatures from the Ute Indian Tribe and the Colorado counties of Garfield, Mesa, Moffat and Rio Blanco.
“We’re very pleased that stakeholders across the region see the importance of accessing our domestic resources to not only benefit families and businesses here at home but also abroad. The natural gas across the West will be tantamount to achieving both our economic and environmental goals,” CEA’s Chief Operating Officer Andrew Browning said.
Dr. Laura Nelson, the Utah Governor’s energy advisor and the executive director of the Governor’s Office of Energy Development, went on to say: “The Governor’s Office of Energy Development is pleased to welcome the Wyoming Pipeline Authority to WSTN. Their collaboration effectively expands the partnership across Utah, Colorado, Wyoming and Tribal Nations to promote the development of, and access to, our unparalleled Western energy resources and to growing economies overseas, all while providing for environmental outcomes. We’re proud to see, here in Utah, yet another opportunity to achieve win-win results by advancing strategic partnerships.”
WSTN was formed following the release of a report in April 2019 entitled, “Natural Gas Markets for the Western States and Tribal Nations.” The report details how abundant natural gas resources in the Piceance and Uinta basins of Colorado and Utah can help regional, and global communities thrive economically and environmentally if more production and infrastructure expansion efforts are approved. With the addition of the Wyoming Pipeline Authority, the report will be updated to incorporate information on Wyoming’s natural gas reserves, infrastructure capacity and potential to serve international LNG markets.
The signing follows the report’s recommendations, which urges the group to incorporate states like Wyoming to work with and establish a framework for facilitating conversations between a diverse group of western stakeholders. This includes the natural gas industry, LNG exporters, conservation groups, tribes, outdoor recreation groups and other relevant stakeholders who see the value in collaborating on the development of domestic natural gas resources produced in the western United States, including Utah, Colorado and Wyoming for export to international markets.
“Wyoming has abundant natural gas, and we have worked long and hard to maximize the value of that resource for Wyoming residents. This coalition allows us to partner on additional efforts to develop gas responsibly and ensure it is used to meet the energy needs of America and the world. These resources are essential to powering a low-carbon future, and we look forward to the work of this coalition,” said Governor Mark Gordon.
“On behalf of our four western Colorado counties, we welcome the growing collaboration with the Utah Governor’s Office of Energy Development, the Ute Indian Tribe and the Wyoming Pipeline Authority. Marketing our natural gas resources collectively to countries in Asia and other viable markets will aid in the geo-political stabilization of our political allies overseas as well as strengthen our rural energy economies,” said Rose Pugliese, County Commissioner from Mesa County, Colorado.
The groups will focus on providing leadership and developing a strategic, collaborative approach toward natural gas development through three primary areas of focus including education, advocacy and collaboration with a stated goal of developing solutions for rural economic development, tribal self-determination and natural gas flaring in western states.
“The Ute Indian Tribe supports the collaborative approach recommended in the Western States and Tribal Nations Report. This approach encompasses the Tribe’s core values: being responsible stewards of the environment by producing cleaner burning fuels for global consumption while promoting tribal self-determination and improving economic development. The Ute Indian Tribe welcomes the Wyoming Pipeline Authority into our collaborative partnership and looks forward to working with all of the WSTN partners to pursue the worthy goals outlined in the Report,” said Shaun Chapoose of the Ute Indian Tribe Business Council.