State Senate Republican and Democratic leaders have signaled they will dedicate additional resources and attention next year to energy and environmental issues, but in the turbulent wake of the surprise election of Donald Trump as president, the news has observers wondering whether the party caucuses are simply shoring up positions or seeing new opportunity to move beyond long-established partisan territories.
Speculation launched at the end of November, when Senate Republicans announced they had formed a new Select Committee on Energy and Environment.
“I know people are kind of scratching their heads,” said committee Chairman Ray Scott, R-Grand Junction. “I can say that the committee will be less about passing legislation and more about gathering information and getting it right. We tend to send energy bills to committees to do instead of fully discussing them. So this committee is going to be about gathering information that is correct, the best information, and reporting it back to the people. We want to help educate lawmakers and, more important, to help educate the public.