By Audra Streetman

(CBS4) – Rep. Ken Buck, a Republican who represents Colorado’s 4th Congressional District, is calling on Gov. Jared Polis to boost natural gas production in the state. It comes after Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced a ban on natural gas exports as the state responds to widespread outages caused by a deadly winter storm. 

A worker repairs a power line in Austin, Texas on Wednesday. (credit: Thomas Ryan Allison/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Frozen pipelines have prompted a natural gas shortage in Texas. Gov. Abbott said the state needs to hold onto all of its gas to power generators.

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Colorado has the second largest natural gas reserve in the country but production has dropped over the last couple of years. Rep. Buck said Gov. Polis should take action now to increase production.

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“I understand the governor has a goal for renewable in a certain time period and if that’s the way the people of Colorado want to go, that’s great. But to cut back on natural gas production right now when Texas is cutting back on its export of natural gas is a serious mistake,” Buck said.

Rep. Ken Buck (credit: CBS)

A spokesperson for Gov. Polis issued the following statement to CBS4:

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“Coloradans have freezing Texans in our hearts during this challenging time. Colorado is colder than Texas, has more renewable energy, and a more reliable grid. For years Colorado has done a good job putting reliability first. What’s happening in Texas shows the importance of making sure we have a reliable grid for the future and energy storage. Texas relies heavily on natural gas and was not prepared for a cold snap. Colorado’s natural gas market is a responsibly regulated system of wells and pipelines that is geared towards supplying natural gas according to market forces, individual company capital investment decisions, and pipeline capacity and is not something that can be turned off and on like a spigot. when roads are closed in blizzards, workers can’t get to work at natural gas and coal-powered plants so it highlights the need for renewable energy and low-cost storage. By putting reliability first, Colorado saves consumers money.”

Audra Streetman