The Division of Oil, Gas, and Mining (OGM) began as the Utah Oil and Gas Conservation Commission in 1955. The primary focus as governed by Utah statute was and has remained fossil fuels and energy resources developed with drilling and mining technology. For this reason, the Division is often a magnet for public policy issues and debate over fossil fuel development in Utah.
I have learned in my career that public opinion about fossil energy development exists in a wide spectrum. There are friends and foes of fossil fuels with moderate to strong opinions in both camps.
In recent years there have emerged very polar extreme opinions on both ends of the spectrum or what I call the fanatics. I’ve observed that very little can be done to sway these vocal extremists away from their almost religious fervor about their beliefs. While very outspoken, I believe they represent the minority opinion for society as a whole.
In the middle of the opinion spectrum there are those who don’t have an opinion or the fence-sitters; the fickle who tip one way or the other depending on the last thing they heard or read; and the fearful who worry that establishing opinions may harm their ability to take advantage of opportunities in either direction.
I believe the majority of this spectrum or the ‘rational middle’ understands the value and need for energy development on all levels including fossil fuels and renewables. It is my great hope that those in the rational middle, who run the gamut of moderate foes to friends, will dictate the policies for energy development in our society going forward.
Our Division is committed to the future of oil, gas and mining in Utah. As our population and demand for energy resources increase, we will continue to ensure responsible resource development, protect the public’s safety and preserve the environment while permitting access to affordable and reliable energy sources for future generations.