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Energy needs to be nonpartisan issue

There’s much to be thankful for this holiday season. The state has its largest budget surplus in history. It recently posted its largest job growth in over a decade, unemployment is at its lowest in years and more funding has been allocated to programs that better roads, schools and public safety.

And the state’s record energy production is a big reason why.

That’s why calls for increased partisanship should be vigorously pushed aside by the newly elected, who should improve what their predecessors came up short on and build upon what they did well, like leadership in energy.

Such efforts would entail working together to maintain a regulatory climate that lowers costs for families and encourages businesses and producers to stay or relocate here, not flee to next-door pastures like Texas or Colorado to tap areas like the Permian or San Juan basins there.

It also means continuing to reject ordinances for drilling setbacks that would serve as de facto energy bans, declining onerous and redundant regulations, and preserving the same policies that helped turn the state around — especially when other economic rankings including poverty, income and child well-being could be improved faster with the solutions, opportunities and lower-cost expenses only local energy, from all resources, can provide.

Energy is and must remain a non-partisan, cross-aisle issue. We all need electricity to turn on our lights and charge our phones, fuel to drive to work and school, air conditioning to cool our homes and heat to warm our homes.

We also all need clean air and water. Thanks to improved technology and procedures, plus stringent federal, state and local regulations, the state’s providing just that and will continue to do so if its new lawmakers allow.

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