by Greg Walcher, E&E Legal Senior Policy Fellow
As Appearing in the Daily Sentinel
Near the end of the late-night election reporting, one commentator said the results did not feel like the anticipated “blue wave,” but “more like purple rain.” It was an apt description of an election that produced only mixed results for either side.
Sovereignty in America does not belong to government, but to citizens, and they have spoken. What they said, though, is open to interpretation, especially with respect to energy and natural resources. The American Energy Alliance wrote an astute analysis the next day, on the future of energy policies under new leadership. They concluded that voters expect a new “focus on policies that expand the availability, affordability, and reliability of energy, rather than on policies that make energy more scarce, more expensive, and less reliable.”
In many ways, Colorado was a microcosm of that message. Voters in the Centennial State elected the most liberal governor and Legislature in history, while on the same day rejecting ballot measures supported by the same candidates. Pundits have commented on what seems almost schizophrenic — voting against anti-fossil fuel restrictions, while electing a governor who promises to rid the state of fossil fuels. Some say we are likely to see oil, gas, and coal banished anyway, with one-party in control of all three branches of state government. That would devastate the economy, but I am much more optimistic, precisely because the will of the voters on energy issues is clear, both in Colorado and nationally.