Oil shale, natural gas, solar, coal.
All are players in Colorado’s energy industry, and all are surrounded by some degree of controversy or confusion.
At the 7th Annual Energy Forum and Expo today, representatives from the industry came together to educate the public about the pros and cons of each source.
One major item of interest was the natural gas-fueled vehicles.
"We have been converting natural gas vehicles a little over a year. We have about 50 of our fleet converted right now," said Sandy Kent with Encana Natural Gas.
Encana was turning heads with its unique display: a truck and a car that run exclusively on natural gas.
CSU professor Bryan Willson, one of the forum speakers, gave a talk on the same topic.
"I hope the piece they walked away with today was how much of an impact we can have if we converted more of our vehicles from oil to natural gas," said Willson.
But the expo was about more than natural gas. Over one hundred companies and groups set up booths to represent their respective energies.
Founder Kathy Hall said her goal for the expo is to promote public awareness about all energy types and uses.
"We have to know where that energy comes from and how we're going to continue to generate the need. And we need to learn that it takes all forms of energy to get there," she said.
But guest Dick Knowles thought the expo missed one major point: reduction, not just production.
"I’d like to see the same companies beating the drum for conservation, but it's beating the drum for usage," said Knowles. He'd like to hear some discussion about cutting down on energy use in general.
"Technology is improving it, but it can't keep up with the population increase," said Knowles.
One point everyone could agree on: Western Colorado’s energy potential will be a discussion to continue far beyond today.
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