Yesterday, Governor John Hickenlooper announced the members of a statewide task force that will craft recommendations to help minimize land use conflicts that can occur when siting oil and gas facilities near homes, schools, businesses and recreational areas.

“The governor created the task force as part of a compromise to avoid a divisive and costly campaign fight this fall over ballot issues that could damage Colorado’s economy and its collaborative approach to environmental regulation,” according to a press release.

The chairpersons and members are listed below, with links to background information on each member.

Co-Chairs of Task Force

Gwen Lachelt, environmental activist, La Plata County Commissioner, former executive director of Western Colorado Congress, founder of Earthworks’ Oil & Gas Accountability Project

Randy Cleveland, president of XTO Energy, Inc.

Environmental Group Members/Activists

Sara Barwinski, member, Weld Air and Water

Jim Fitzgerald, rancher, educator, activist

Jon Goldin-Dubois, president, Western Resources Advocates, former COO of Common Cause

Present and Former Government Officials

Bernie Buescher,former Colorado Secretary of State

Russ George, former Speaker of the House and former executive director of Department of Natural Resources

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

Pat Quinn,former mayor, Broomfield

Will Toor, former Boulder mayor and Boulder County Commissioner

Oil and Gas Company Representatives

Peter Dea, president & CEO, Cirque Resources LP

Brad Holly,vice president of operations (Rocky Mountain Region), Anadarko

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

Perry Pearce, manager of state government affairs (Rocky Mountain Region), ConocoPhillips

Scot Woodall, president & CEO, Bill Barrett Corporation

Farming Community

Kent Peppler,president, Rocky Mountain Farmers Union, farmer

Home Building Community

Bruce Rau, vice chairman/treasurer, Colorado Association of Home Builders, CRED Advisory Committee


Jeff Robbins, attorney, Goldman Robbins & Nicholson

Matt Sura, attorney, Law Office of Matthew Sura

Civic Leaders

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


“The group will begin meeting immediately and it’s 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,” according to the Governor’s office.

2012 Colorado Oil & Gas Task Force Traveled a Similar Road

This is the second task force assigned to work on Colorado’s oil and gas regulations in the past two years. In 2012, the Task Force Established by Executive Order 2012-002 “Regarding Mechanisms to Work Collaboratively and Coordinate State and Local Oil and Gas Regulatory Structures” consisted of the following members:

task force

A letter of accounting describing the findings and actions of the 2012 task force may be read here.

Environmental Provision Backers Have Filed to Amend the Colorado Constitution in 2016

Phillip T. Doe and Barbara Mills-Bria have filed another initiative to amend the Colorado constitution, a proposed amendment aimed for the 2016 state elections.

Their amendment seeks to define clean air, clean water, including ground and surface water and the preservation of the environment and natural resources, as “PUBLIC TRUST RESOURCES” which the amendment declares are the common property of all the people including future generations. It goes on to say, “As trustee of these resources, the state shall conserve and maintain them for the benefit of all the people” and enacts legal remedies for noncompliance. Their proposed amendment also states: “Laws may be enacted to enhance, but cannot be contrary to, the provisions of this section.”

To read the proposed amendment as filed, click here.

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