Report: Rockies’ natural amenities backbone of economy |

Report: Rockies’ natural amenities backbone of economy

The Associated Press
Aspen, CO Colorado

DENVER ” A new report by an environmental group and supported by some regional economists says the Rockies’ natural amenities are more important to the economy than the booming oil and gas industry.

The report “Natural Dividends” by The Wilderness Society says the oil and gas industry accounts for less than 2 percent of the jobs and income in the Rocky Mountain states. The report recommends slowing the pace of natural gas drilling in the region, including Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico, to ensure that the land, water and air quality aren’t damaged.

The Wilderness Society says Western landscapes and quality of life have boosted the economy over the last few decades by drawing retirees and businesses to the area.

The group also says unchecked energy development threatens the amenities that could sustain the economy once oil and gas production diminishes.