The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Energizing Colorado

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted September 14, 2016

Colorado is an energy-producing leader among the 50 states. In 2015 it ranked No. 6 in marketed natural gas production (1.6 billion cubic feet) and No. 7 in crude oil output (126 million barrels), according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) – thanks to shale and hydraulic fracturing.

coloClick on the thumbnail for a two-page energy infographic for the Centennial State.

The combination of safe fracking and horizontal drilling have unlocked oil and natural gas reserves in the massive Niobrara shale formation, which reaches from Montana into Colorado. The state has seen oil production surge 280 percent from about 33 million barrels in 2010 to 126 million barrels last year. Resource estimates run as high as 2 billion barrels, EIA says.

Colorado used more natural gas in 2014 than any other fuel. While coal leads in net electricity generation (60 percent) last year, natural gas was second, accounting for 22.5 percent.

The state has been proactive in developing a strong regulatory regime to couple with existing federal statutes. Gov. John Hickenlooper:

“Colorado has come a long way on these issues over the last decade. The work of the (governor’s) Task Force amplified the role of local governments in siting large oil and gas facilities and built a stronger connection between state and local regulators. Communities are working more productively with operators, crafting solutions that take into account local concerns while respecting property rights.”

Safe and responsible energy development has made the United States the world leader in oil and natural gas production, with states including Colorado playing a leading role. Pro-development policies are needed to continue America’s energy renaissance, which is boosting the economy, making the U.S. more secure in the world and helping to lower emissions. Page 2 of the infographic compares the benefits of a pro-energy approach with the potential negative outcomes from policies characterized by regulatory constraints.

Energy is essential for virtually every aspect of our daily lives. It powers national, state and local economies, gets us to work and goes into products we rely on for health and comfort. Safe, responsible energy development here at home is linked to national security as well as Americans’ individual prosperity and liberty – in Colorado and all the 50 states of energy.


Mark Green joined API after a career in newspaper journalism, including 16 years as national editorial writer for The Oklahoman in the paper’s Washington bureau. Mark also was a reporter, copy editor and sports editor. He earned his journalism degree from the University of Oklahoma and master’s in journalism and public affairs from American University. He and his wife Pamela live in Occoquan, Va., where they enjoy their four grandchildren.