CEA Report Details Potential of Piceance, Uinta Basins

(P&GJ) - The Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) has released a detailed report on “Natural Gas Markets for the Western States and Tribal Nations,” explaining how the abundant natural gas resources in the Piceance and Unita basins in Colorado and Utah can bring significant economic and environmental growth the region with the approval of more production and infrastructure expansion.

“The Piceance-Uinta Basin has a unique advantage over other U.S. and Canadian conventional and shale production areas, which is its abundant and available pipeline export capacity throughout the western U.S.,” Andrew Browning, chief operating officer, for the CEA said.

“Western States and Tribal Nations (WSTN), a newly formed advocacy group, is facilitating conversations between the natural gas industry, LNG exporters, conservation groups, tribes, outdoor recreation groups and other relevant participants — all of whom want to learn how more energy production and pipelines can benefit Colorado, Utah, the sovereign Ute Indian Tribe and neighboring states, regions, the nation and other countries — fiscally and environmentally,” Browning added.

According to the report, with enough investment in the region, LNG exports could boost the U.S. GDP by more than $92 billion through 2050 and more than $3.2 trillion in cumulative benefits. Development of the basins could also sustain as many as 432,900 jobs per year through 2050.

These benefits would be felt most predominantly in the local economies. According to a 2013 study developed by ICF International, a consulting firm, Colorado alone would receive $6 billion in revenue and almost 40,000 jobs and Utah could receive $4 billion and create 15,000 jobs.

The Ute Tribal Business Committee stated, “Through the construction of liquefied natural gas pipelines and a west coast export terminal, such as the proposed Jordan Cove LNG export terminal, Ute Energy can gain access to new energy markets that will alleviate the ongoing marketing and sales inefficiencies. This would also increase the Ute Indian Tribe’s income and assist in its ongoing efforts of economic development and providing essential services for its tribal members.”

Dr. Laura Nelson, Utah Governor’s energy advisor and executive director of the Governor’s Office of Energy Development, said, "Utah is committed to creating win-win outcomes for economies, locally and globally, by forging strategic partnerships to advance new pathways for the western states and tribal nations' abundant natural gas resources through key infrastructure development and greater market access abroad." She added: “As demand for LNG continues to increase in emerging markets throughout the Asia Pacific region, we’re poised to play a pivotal role for providing energy solutions that drive greater economic and environmental results."

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