DENVER, Colo. -- Colorado State Senator Ray Scott (R-Grand Junction) today applauded De Beque-based Black Hills Exploration & Production for moving forward with a potentially risky energy project on the Western Slope despite a national drilling slowdown. Thanks to the company's creativity and sense of community, the project is poised to become a win-win for energy and agriculture.
"At the time when many energy companies are pulling back and playing it safe, hoping to ride out the current slump, I applaud Black Hills E&P for being bold and bullish enough to proceed with this project despite the risks," said Scott. “The company's willingness to go forward offers a hopeful sign that there’s light at the end of this tunnel, which should serve as a confidence booster for this part of the state."
Black Hills E&P on Friday completed an $8 million pipeline and water pump station project, built to supply water for the hydraulic fracturing of natural gas wells, reported The Grand Junction Sentinel. But because the water won’t be needed until drilling begins, if it does, the pipeline will for now be used to help irrigate agricultural land, reducing De Beque’s "need to exercise its senior water rights at the expense of area ranchers," according to the paper.
The Sentinel quoted John Benton, Black Hills E&P’s vice president and general manager, as saying: "Regardless of whether we go forward or not with our program, it’s created something that will benefit the community for years to come."
Scott said he hopes this helps refute those who portray energy companies as ruthless profiteers who couldn’t care less about the communities in which they operate. "It will be a win-win for everyone if the pipeline can help revive the local energy economy while also serving the long-term needs of farmers," said Scott. "But none of this would be possible if private individuals and companies weren't bold enough to step up and take such risks."