First changes to COGCC come as new panel named | PostIndependent.com

First changes to COGCC come as new panel named

New head of the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission Jeff Robbins gives a presentation on the current issues facing the state at the seventhannual Energy and Environment Symposium in Rifle.
Ryan Mackley / Align Multimedia

New-look COGCC

• Brenda Haun of Grover, unaffiliated — to serve as an agricultural production or royalty member. Haun is a veterinarian and she and her family own a cattle ranch in Weld County.

• Erin Overturf of Denver, Democrat — to serve as an environmental protection member. Overturf is Deputy Director, Clean Energy Program with Western Resource Advocates.

• Howard Boigon of Denver, Democrat — to serve as a member with experience in the oil and gas industry. Boigon is an oil and gas attorney with several years of experience in the industry.

• John Messner of Gunnison, Democrat — to serve as a local government member. Messner is a Gunnison County commissioner.

• Liane Jollon of Durango, unaffiliated — to serve as a member with experience in public health. Jollon is the director of San Juan Basin Public Health.

• Mark Hopkins of Broomfield, Republican — to serve as a member with technical expertise relevant to the issues considered by the commission. Hopkins is a retired engineer following a career with the Chevron Corporation.

• Pam Eaton of Boulder, Democrat — to serve as a wildlife protection member. Eaton is founder of Green West Strategies, a consulting firm focusing on conservation and renewable energy and former deputy vice president with the Wilderness Society.

Following passage of the controversial Senate Bill 181, Tuesday’s Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission meeting will feature several new faces as it looks to reshape the state’s oil and gas laws.

Not among them is Garfield County resident and Canyon Creek rancher Kent Jolley, who had served on the commission since 2016 — leaving the state’s second-largest oil and gas producing county without a representative on the COGCC.

New COGCC Director Jeff Robbins, in his final objective criteria, reiterated the COGCC’s mandate change from “fostering” to “regulating oil and gas in a manner that protects and minimizes adverse impacts to public health, safety and welfare, the environment and wildlife resources resulting from oil and gas operations.”

As the bill changes the composition of the COGCC, a new commissioner was added with public health expertise. The makeup of the new commission was announced in a press release on Friday.

According to the press release, Liane Johnson, Director of San Juan Basin Public Health, will serve as a member with public health experience. She is appointed as a politically unaffiliated member.

The rest of the new board will include members from across Colorado, appointed due to their expertise in environmental/wildfire protection, the oil and gas industry, or as a local government official or agricultural production/royalty owner.

Democrat Erin Overturf, Denver resident, will continue to serve on the commission as a member with environmental protection expertise, as will incumbent Vice Chairman Howard Boignan, Denver resident, who will serve as a member with oil and gas industry experience.

The new commission will meet on Tuesday as it begins to implement the new public health, safety and environmental priorities of the COGCC.

azorn@citizentelegram.com


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