Colorado’s Top Oil And Gas Regulator Resigns

Colorado's top oil and gas regulator is stepping down to take a job with an energy consulting company.

The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission said director Matt Lepore is resigning on March 4 after more than five years in the job.

Lepore oversaw widespread changes at the commission. When he took the helm in 2012 energy development and drilling had marched closer to homes. Under his direction, well setbacks now require a 500 foot buffer from homes statewide.

After the fatal Firestone home explosion in 2017, commissioners passed new rules to make companies share details on underground flow lines. However, the commission has been under scrutiny in recent years for not giving local governments more say in the drilling process.

Lepre will become legal counsel and strategic adviser for Adamantine Energy, a Denver consulting group that works with energy companies dealing with regulators, activists, investors and others.

Adamantine's founder and top executive is Tisha Schuller — who was formerly CEO of the Colorado Oil and Gas Association, a major industry lobbying group in Colorado.

The new director of the oil and gas commission will be Julie Murphy, currently assistant director for energy and minerals at the Colorado Department of Natural Resources. That department is the oil and gas commission's parent agency.