County oil and gas auditor Doug Dennison resigns post
Doug Dennison, Garfield County’s oil and gas auditor, has resigned after 212 years on the job. Dennison has accepted a job as regulatory coordinator with Occidental Oil in Grand Junction.Dennison, who acted as a liaison between county government and residents who were feeling the effects of natural gas development, said he came to the job without knowing what it was all about.”I didn’t have a whole lot of chance to figure it out,” he said. “Initially people wanted someone to unload on. There were a lot of people with pent-up frustration.”Dennison’s job was created in response to growing oil and gas production in rural areas, and more and more complaints about increased traffic, dust and noise.Dennison said he spent “80 to 90 percent of my time initially working on individual issues.” He soon came to realize that his job was “to try to find some middle ground on the issues and get people to the table.”To that end, he organized the Energy Advisory Board, made up of representatives of industry and citizens both for and against gas development, who meet monthly to discuss pressing issues.In the last year, the county launched a series of studies aimed at gauging the impact of the oil and gas industry, studies that Dennison has spearheaded. Among them are a study of groundwater and air quality, an assessment of possible health risks from drilling and production and a socioeconomic study that will look in part at how the industry may be affecting real estate values.Dennison said he decided to move on partly because of the chance to work at Occidental. “The new job is a good opportunity for growth, and working for the county there is just so far I could go,” he said.He also said his greatest challenge – and frustration – was not being able to resolve some concerns. “There was just so much I could do,” he said. “The schedule was pretty hectic, and it was starting to wear on me a bit.”However, his time with the county was well spent, he said. “I’ve enjoyed it. It’s been one of the best parts of my career.”Contact Donna Gray: 945-8515, ext. firstname.lastname@example.org
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