Congressman Curtis hosts town halls

Congressman John Curtis hosted a town hall meeting at UBTech’s Vernal campus the evening of Jan. 19 to discuss energy independence with constituents in the Uintah Basin.
Curtis invited three representatives from energy companies with large holdings in the Uintah Basin: Kristen Lingley with Caerus Oil and Gas, Matt Most of OVINTIV, and Kit Pfeiffer with XCL Resources.
Curtis emphasized his purpose in holding the town hall was to encourage those in the Basin to go on the offense regarding the political discussion around climate change.
“I believe that in the discussion around climate change and energy independence, what you do here in the Basin is, and will continue to be, part of the solution,” said the congressman.
He posed questions to those on the panel with him and they discussed in some detail different facets of the climate change discussion and invited attendees of the town hall to ask questions and join in the conversation.
The discussion turned to how these companies have encountered and embraced the oil and gas regulations coming down from the federal government and the expectations that investors and stakeholders of their companies have come to expect of them.
The panelists were nearly in agreement that they plan to be ahead of the industry in complying with reasonable federal regulations and finding ways to use those regulations to their advantage. Most said the regulations that will soon be required regarding leaks and emissions from sites will benefit them.
“If we have leaks, that means we’re essentially leaking valuable product, so it is also in our best interest to tighten things up, repair leaks and capture that product that is being lost,” said Most.
Lingley and Pfeiffer both agreed that it would be in their companies’ best interest to tighten up their operations and have fewer leaks.
Curtis also emphasized that he hopes the goals the Uintah Basin and the nation can reach regarding oil and gas and energy independence are t move toward clean, reliable, and affordable energy products in the near and far futures. He also stated that that doesn’t mean eliminating our resources all together but rather innovating and building our resources to meet those three goals.
Due to district rezoning that went into effect on Jan. 1, 2023, the Uintah Basin now falls in the district of Congressman Curtis, which is why residents have seen more of him and his team the last several months.