Republicans in the Colorado General Assembly formally called on Gov. Polis and President Biden Wednesday to abandon their war on American energy.

The demands came in a resolution that urges Polis and Democrats in the General Assembly to encourage more energy output in Colorado.

“In the last few weeks while our national inflation rate continues to rise, we’ve been seeing nearly record-breaking prices at the pump. The families of Colorado cannot afford this. We cannot afford these restrictive energy policies,” said Minority Leader Hugh McKean.

“Adjusting these policies and allowing Colorado to lead the nation in energy production is one way to address the cost of living in Colorado. Producing and exporting our energy will bring stability and increased capital to Colorado’s economy.”

Both the Biden and Polis administrations have implemented vast new restrictions on oil and gas development since taking office.

In Colorado, Polis’s 2019 law SB 181 has all but dried up new permits for energy development.

According to a University of Colorado report released at the end of last year, the law is materially diminishing energy output and jobs:

Wobbekind noted that, barring the new regulatory system, the CBEO researchers who prepared the report’s oil and gas section likely would have projected higher 2022 production levels. The models “had shown a very high correlation between higher prices and higher output, with higher prices driving more production,” but activity could be higher without the new restrictions, he said.


Lewandowski told NGI the pandemic-related reduction “was almost all economic in nature” but, “with the rebound, we do see the new regulations holding some things back.”

Polis’s only solution to the problem is to suspend his gas tax increase that he signed into law last year.

And yet Polis has refused to say whether he would support suspending or cutting Colorado’s existing 22 cent gas tax, according to the Colorado Sun:

But what about Colorado’s 22-cent-per-gallon state gas tax? The National Federation of Independent Businesses is calling for the state gas tax to be suspended as long as it takes to get fuel prices back to levels before Russia invaded Ukraine and the Biden administration banned Russian oil imports.


“Never before has the old cliché ‘every little bit helps’ been more true, outsized and vital,” Tony Gagliardi, Colorado state director for NFIB, said in a written statement. “As long as we continue to handcuff ourselves from producing our own oil, we are forever condemned to live in situations of our own making and consequences of our own fault.”


Polis didn’t directly answer our question about pausing the state’s gas tax, a move that would probably have to go through the legislature. His spokesman, Conor Cahill, pointed out that the governor proposed delaying implementation of Colorado’s new gas fee, which was enacted by a transportation-funding bill passed last year, “to give Coloradans relief at the pump.”

Like Polis, President Biden has been equally hostile to energy development, both as a candidate and since taking office.

The Polis and Biden administrations have both argued companies have existing permits so any regulatory barriers they face currently should not be impacting energy production.

That’s nonsense, according to industry advocates like the Western Energy Alliance:

“Just because Acme O&G isn’t using a permit right away doesn’t mean that ABC O&G doesn’t need one for a well it’s planning to drill now,” she said. “If the federal permitting situation weren’t so inefficient and fraught with political interference, companies wouldn’t need to request a large inventory even years in advance.”


If the White House wants drilling to increase, they could ease regulatory requirements and speed up permitting, she said.


The permitting showdown is the latest of many disagreements over the federal oil program under Biden. When Biden came into office last year, he paused oil and gas leasing on federal lands and last fall published a report criticizing the program as antiquated and deferential to industry.

The logical response to the shortage of energy supplies caused by the war in Ukraine would be to encourage more domestic energy output, both to alleviate price pressures and for national security.

“While Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has disrupted the global oil supply, raising oil prices internationally, decades of harmful and restrictive regulation on energy production in the United States and in Colorado have weakened our national security, causing us to be dependent on foreign oil while the United States has the largest untapped oil supply worldwide,” said state Rep. Richard Holtorf.

“Increasing American energy supply will lead to increased national and international security, allowing the United States to once again step up to its role as a leader of the free world, providing financial stability for the U.S. and our allies abroad. We have the resources to stabilize international affairs and the global economy rather than allowing our adversaries to do so.”

Instead, over the last week the White House approached the Saudis and a hostile communist regime in Venezuela about increasing their own oil exports.

Since that plan seems to have completely failed, Democrats in Congress have turned to plan B: tax the energy companies and harangue oil executives on TV over the price of gas.

Never mind the fact that energy producers are price takers and do not set the global price of oil, and that gas prices have actually not increased at the same rate as crude prices over the last year.

Since gas prices lag oil, price increases or drops at the pump only occur if swings in oil prices are sustained over a period of time.

Don’t bother explaining that to U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, who has teamed up with Elizabeth Warren to further tax energy companies.

The Wall Street Journal editorial board whacked Bennet for his shallow political hackery and scapegoating energy companies for price increases they don’t control:

“We need to hold large oil and gas companies accountable” and “urgently need to invest in America’s clean energy economy,” says Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet. Accountable for what? Making money in a legal business? Meeting obvious consumer demand?

The only thing jacking up taxes on oil companies amid a shortage of oil would do is lead to higher prices at the pump.

But don’t take our word for it. Even former President Obama’s former top economic advisor told CNBC last week Bennet’s idea would be completely counterproductive.

Like D.C., it seems likely Democrats will continue their assault on American energy and simply assign Colorado Republicans’ resolution to a kill committee.

That would speak volumes about Polis’s purported interest in “saving people money.”

Come to think of it, wasn’t that supposed to be one of Democrats’ themes in the General Election Assembly this year?