Background: The Trump administration has aggressively promoted energy production on public lands, including in Colorado. The state is among the leaders in drilling on public lands, and the effort is expanding. The federal Bureau of Land Management wanted to limit oil and gas production on 190,000 acres in eastern Colorado, but in 2019 the agency suggested granting protections to fewer than 2,000 acres. This has riled wildlife conservationists who want to protect habitats, including those for the sage grouse, and also those who want to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Proponents counter that the lease proceeds can help fund national parks.
Supports the oil and gas industry
A: Gardner voted to confirm Interior Secretary David Bernhardt, a Colorado native who supports drilling on public lands. And he doesn’t oppose continued drilling on public lands and offshore, the proceeds of which funded conservation efforts in the Great American Outdoors Act he shepherded to law earlier this year.
Does not support new oil and gas extraction on public lands
A: Hickenlooper supports curbing future oil and gas leasing on public lands. As governor he opposed drilling for oil and gas on nearly 200,000 acres of the Thompson Divide. But he opposes breaking existing contracts, but is focused on the transition to clean energy.