Colo. Gov. Hickenlooper names oil and gas task force

· Sep. 8, 2014, 11:00 pm

Photo: Hickenlooper, Polis (AP Photo)(AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)A former Colorado Secretary of State, an ex-Speaker of the House and a host of business leaders are some of the Coloradans named to an oil and gas task force that's been formed to make recommendations to the Legislature aimed at minimizing land-use conflicts. 

The 21-member task force includes representatives from the oil and gas industry, ag industry, local governments and civic leaders. It was created as part of a compromise that killed four ballot measures related to oil and gas drilling.  The group will start meeting soon and will make recommendations in March 2015, according to a press release from the governor's office. 

“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," Gov. John Hickenlooper said in a statement. "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.”  

One of the community representatives named to the group says she will attend meetings with an open mind. 

“If we can go in and just be honest about our own issues and concerns and hopes, but also be respectful and not see people through a stereotypical lens, I think we will do a lot better,” said Sara Barwinski of Greeley. She applied to be a part of the task force after a fracking site was set up 750 feet from her home this summer.
U.S. Rep. Jared Polis, who's support of the compromise was key, echoed Barwinski's hopes for cooperation.
"I am hopeful that parties on all sides of this debate will support this commissions work and that its recommendations will lead to greater protections for homeowners and Colorado families across the state,” Polis said in a statement.

Here's the list of task force members, not including two co-chairs: 

  • 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 (Rocky Mountain Region), Anadarko
  • Dan Kelly, vice president of Wattenberg Business Unit, Noble Energy
  • Rebecca Kourlis, retired justice of the Colorado Supreme Court; executive director, Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System
  • Steve Moreno, Clerk and Recorder, Weld County
  • Perry Pearce, manager of state government affairs (Rocky Mountain Region), 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, Law Office of Matthew Sura
  • Will Toor, former Boulder mayor and Boulder County Commissioner
  • Elbra Wedgeworth, chief government & community relations officer, Denver Health
  • Scot Woodall, president & CEO, Bill Barrett Corporation

Editor's note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported the number of people on the task force as 19. The correct number is 21 and includes two co-chairs on the task force.

You care.

You want to know what is really going on these days, especially in Colorado. We can help you keep up.  The Lookout is a free, daily email newsletter with news and happenings from all over Colorado. Sign up here and we will see you in the morning!