Gov. Hickenlooper names members of new oil, gas task force

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By The Staff

DENVER — On Monday, Sept. 8, Gov. John Hickenlooper announced the members of the task force to address land use issues and the role of state and local government in siting oil and gas facilities.

The governor created the task force as part of a compromise to stem a general election showdown featuring competing initiatives regarding oil and gas issues.

“Critical to the success and effectiveness of this task force is ensuring there is balanced and informed representation,” said Gov. Hickenlooper. “We are confident that the task force members we have assembled to take on these critically important issues for our state are exactly the right group to ensure that Colorado’s economy and environment remain healthy and robust. We are grateful to all of these board members for their willingness to work together to help find the right solution for Colorado. And we are grateful to the many applicants who submitted their names for consideration.”  

The task force members are:

• Sara Barwinski, member of community group, Weld Air and Water;

• Bernie Buescher, former Colorado Secretary of State;

• Peter Dea, president & CEO, Cirque Resources LP;

• Jim Fitzgerald, rancher, educator, activist;

• Russ George, former Speaker of the House and former exec. director of Department of Natural Resources;

• Jon Goldin-Dubois, president, Western Resources Advocates;

• Brad Holly, vice president of operations, Anadarko;

• Dan Kelly, vice president of Wattenberg Business Unit, Noble Energy;

• Rebecca Kourlis, retired justice of the Colorado Supreme Court;

• Steve Moreno, Clerk and Recorder, Weld County;

• Perry Pearce, manager of state government affairs, ConocoPhillips;

• Kent Peppler, president, Rocky Mountain Farmers Union, farmer; 

• Pat Quinn, former mayor, Broomfield;

• Bruce Rau, vice chairman/treasurer, Colorado Association of Home Builders;

• Jeff Robbins, attorney, Goldman Robbins & Nicholson;

• Matt Sura, attorney;

• Will Toor, former Boulder mayor and Boulder County Commissioner;

• Elbra Wedgeworth, chief government & community relations officer, Denver Health;

• and Scot Woodall, president & CEO, Bill Barrett Corporation.

The task force is charged with crafting recommendations to help minimize land use conflicts that can occur when siting oil and gas facilities near homes, schools, businesses and recreational areas. Nearly 300 people from various industries, environmental organizations, and civic leader from around the state applied.

The 19-member task force is chaired by La Plata County Commissioner Gwen Lachelt and Randy Cleveland, president of XTO Energy, Inc. and represents the broad interests of those involved in responsible oil and gas development including members of the oil and gas industry, agricultural industry, the home building industry, the conservation community, local governments and civic leaders.

The group will begin meeting immediately and its anticipated that recommendations would be ready in March 2015. The task force has the power to make recommendations to the governor and legislature with a two-thirds majority, or issue majority and minority opinions.