Created: Fri, 28 Feb 2014 10:31:00 MST
Updated: Fri, 28 Feb 2014 11:38:00 MST
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - On Friday evening members of the oil and gas industry came together for an annual banquet hosted by the Western Slope Colorado Oil and Gas Association (COGA). The event honors members and celebrates all that's been achieved in the past year. They also looked ahead to the future.
David Ludlam, executive director of Western Slope COGA, told the audience, "I believe in the power of the Piceance Basin."
Western Slope COGA says energy is their business, but Western Colorado is their home.
Incoming president of the group, Susan Alvillar, said, "I have a lot of passion about oil and natural gas. It's what I do everyday, it's what I think about everyday."
That passion has earned her the title of president, the first woman to hold the position in the organization.
"Let's dismiss from our vocabulary the words bust, exodus, pull-out, close," she told banquet attendees.
"As president I want to focus on two things. A call to action. For our members to take action, speak out about what they do everyday to produce oil and natural gas. And also, I want people to change the conversation. The conversation should be about the promise that we have in the Piceance Basin for oil and gas and basically to produce for many years to come."
"The theme of our banquet tonight and why we're here today is 'The Promise of the Piceanse Basin.' It's a a hundred something years of technology advancements, entrepreneurialism," Ludlam said.
They aren't completely satisfied with the latest air quality regulations.
"It's a fight that the Western Slope lost, six of Western Colorado's counties came to the table expressing concern, those concerns weren't listened to. But we only have one direction to go and that's forward. We're going to implement those rules the best that we can," said Ludlam.
"There has been a slowdown but we can't lose sight of the fact that there are thousands of natural gas wells producing gas for over three million homes everyday in the Piceance Basin," said Alvillar.
While Alvillar was honored at the banquet, she says the real tribute isn't just for her.
She said, "I just want to honor the men and women who work hard everyday to produce energy for our livelihood. To power our vehicles, to cook our food, to heat and cool our homes. I just want to take my hat off to those people, they work hard and they deserve recognition."
Officials with Western Slope COGA say shale formations in the Piceance Basin are going to carry us not just through decades but generations.