Colorado Rep., Ray Scott, Confronts Hickenlooper’s War on Jobs

December 27, 2013

This is an open letter from Colorado State Representative, Ray Scott (Dist. 55) to Democrat, Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, who, while busy signing anti-gun legislation and appeasing the radical President Obama Visits Colorado In Wake Of Movie Theater Shootingsenvironmentalists on the Left, seems to have forgotten that the Western regions of Colorado are still suffering dire economic challenges due to the War on Fossil Energy, and his own War of Attrition against the jobs that come with energy development.  This article is posted with permission by, 12/27/13.




State of Colorado

Representative RAY SCOTT


  • Agriculture
  • Livestock & Natural Resources
  • Transportation & Energy Committees

Colorado State Capitol 

200 East Colfax Avenue, Room 271 

Denver, Colorado 80203 



December 20, 2013

 John W Hickenlooper, Governor

Dear Governor Hickenlooper,

Western Colorado is on life support. Businesses are closing – between the 4th Quarter of 2008 and the 4th quarter of 2012, Mesa County experienced a net loss of 620 businesses – unemployment is high (up from 3.8% in 2008 to 7% in 2013 – an increase of over 80%), our labor pool has all but disappeared, and the need for public assistance is straining local and state resources. These are not empty claims; the data I am including supports each statement.                                                                                                                                                      With the recent announcements of the idling of the West Elk coal mine; Encana resources suspending  drilling operations; Schlumberger moving their remaining assets out of Grand Junction; Shell Oil closing its highly successful oil shale operation, and relocating it to Jordan; pending EPA regulations that will severely harm our mining industry and turn some local communities into ghost towns; new CDPHE air quality rules that will only add to the burden of the few remaining producers in our region; the threat of a Sage Grouse listing under the Endangered Species Act that will restrict EVERY industry in northwest Colorado – and all this on top of the impending withdrawal of the Roan Plateau leases and subsequent refunding of the lease sale to Bill Barrett Corporation, which will cost all Colorado citizens $52 million and thousands of jobs for the Western Slope – the time has come for some powerful remedial action.             I respectfully request an emergency level meeting with your office, the Colorado Economic Development office, and a consortium of Western Slope elected officials, business leaders, and citizens to formulate not just a plan, but defined and specific actions to repair the economic crisis and permit a future for western Colorado.

On behalf of my constituents, I would request the following recommendations be addressed;

  •  1. The suspension of any State rules and regulations that impede or reduce efficiency for local businesses;
  •  2. An emergency request to the BLM to recognize the legitimacy of the Roan Plateau leases, and for your office to adopt a similar proactive approach to defending Colorado’s economic interests on the Roan, as you have on the Greater Sage Grouse issue;
  • 3. Establish a task force to study the feasibility and efficiency of moving certain necessary state agencies to western CO as a way to stabilize local economies, especially those agencies which have the greatest impact on the region;
  • 4. A temporary suspension of state license fees to local business throughout western Colorado for one year;
  • 5. Mechanisms put in place to establish an equitable return on the money extracted from the Western Slope and sent to Denver – such as additional DOLA funding for economic development, increased tourism marketing for the western part of the state, and more educational dollars returned to schools in our region, where per-pupil funding is the lowest in the state;
  • 6. Active promotion of LNG exports and the construction of related infrastructure as a way to open markets for the Western Slope’s vast, but currently under-utilized, natural gas resources;
  • 7. Remove any barriers and work with BNSF rail to open export markets for Western Slope coal exports to China and other high demand markets outside the U.S.

I realize that some of these may appear to be ambitious measures; but we are at the point now in western Colorado where strong action is called for. Government cannot create wealth and prosperity, or long-term growth-generating jobs; but it can foster a positive environment for the private sector to create jobs, growth, and prosperity, by removing many of the artificial obstacles in its path. We on the Western Slope need the state government to do just that, and we need it now.                                                                                                                   We have been encouraged by your recent visit to western Colorado, and your expressed willingness to help our region and address some of these critical issues. I, and many others in northwestern Colorado are grateful for the efforts you are displaying so far in helping to fight for a reasonable Sage Grouse conservation proposal.                                                                                                                                                                   But this cannot be a one-stop effort. The needs of the Western Slope are great; perhaps the greatest in the state, and many of the problems are within the control of elected leaders like you to control and remedy. I am asking you, on behalf of the people who have entrusted us to the position’s we hold, to join us in finding a way to return to western Colorado the prosperity, hope, and future that it’s citizens deserve.

We look forward to your response.


Ray Scott

State Representative, House District 55

Reposted with permission on, December 27, 2013.

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