Colorado’s new governor, Jared Polis, has named attorney Jeff Robbins as the full-time director of the Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission. Robbins had served as acting director of the commission since January 17.

Colorado Gov. Names ‘Local Control’ Attorney Robbins Director of COGCC - Oil & Gas 360

COGCC Director Jeff Robbins

Robbins has served as counselor and advisor to Governor Jared Polis on oil and gas issues for the past five years.

“Jeff’s expertise in the oil and gas industry has already proven to be a tremendous asset to the commission,” Colorado Department of Natural Resources Executive Director Dan Gibbs said. “We are excited to be able to appoint him as COGCC’s new director.”

Robbins served on the 2014 Colorado Task Force Regarding State and Local Regulation of Oil and Gas Operations. Robbins has been practicing law in Colorado since 1996 and was a partner in the law firm of Goldman, Robbins, Nicholson & Mack, P.C., based in Durango, Colorado. He has substantial experience in governmental law. Early in his career he served as County Attorney for La Plata County for 12 years and Archuleta County for three years. More recently, he has focused his practice on assisting multiple front range communities, including Adams County, the City of Aurora, the City of Dacono, Boulder County, the City of Lafayette, and the City of Timnath, as legal counsel on oil and gas matters helping these communities address land use and surface issues arising out of oil and gas operations.

Robbins has practiced extensively before the COGCC in the representation of these clients, the DNR said in a statement.

Robbins testifies about Colorado energy overhaul bill, ‘red flag’ memo

As acting director of the COGCC, Robbins answered questions at the March 5th Senate Transportation and Energy Committee hearing about Colorado’s new energy bill which is presently going through the Colorado General Assembly.

Robbins also answered questions about a memo he issued as acting director flagging specific well locations in the application and approval process. Robbins said he issued the memo after being surprised his first day on the job at the overwhelming number of drilling permit applications that the COGCC was dealing with. He said he wrote the memo outlining the locations that he wanted to personally look at, as the sheer volume of drilling applications precluded his personal review of every application and required delegation of the application reviews to staff. He said he wanted a process for creating a pile of applications for him to personally review.

Robbins said he had met with oil and gas operators about the memo, and he said he thought things would change “as we ensure that health, safety, welfare is part of what we’re doing.”

“It’s not a substitute for the legislation [Senate Bill 19-181]. At this point I think the legislation does a better job in establishing health, safety, welfare and a better balance,” Robbins said in his testimony.

Next stop for energy overhaul bill SB 19-181 is March 25 – House Finance Committee hearing

The next stop for the energy bill, SB 19-181, is the House Finance Committee on Monday, March 25, 2019 at 1:30 p.m. This is the bill’s second committee hearing in the House. It breezed through all three Senate committees and was passed on to the House in a Senate vote last week.

Read the amended bill here.

Read the Revised Fiscal Note here.

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