Canyon Creek rancher appointed to COGCC
Gov. John Hickenlooper on Tuesday named Glenwood Springs native and longtime rancher Kent Jolley to serve as one of seven members on the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission.
Jolley was appointed as an agricultural representative on the commission who also owns mineral royalties, is a Western Slope resident and a Republican.
He was one of three appointees made Tuesday by the Democratic governor to the COGCC.
Ashley Lowe Ager of Durango, a Democrat, was appointed in recognition of her soil conservation and land reclamation experience, according to a news release from the governor’s office.
Winston Perry Pearce of Denver, also a Democrat, was selected for his experience and college education degree related to the oil and gas industry.
Their terms will expire on July 1, 2020.
“It’s a huge honor, and I’m really excited about it,” said Jolley, who has been active for many years in Garfield County Republican politics and who has oil and gas leases on his family ranch west of Glenwood Springs.
He is the first Garfield County representative on the COGCC since former county Commissioner Trési Houpt, a Democrat, served on the commission under former Gov. Bill Ritter in the late 2000s.
The COGCC oversees oil and gas drilling permits and other regulatory controls in the state, and is responsible for the occasional rulemaking affecting the industry. Recent issues have revolved around setbacks for well pads and other facilities, especially in populated areas.
Western Garfield County’s Battlement Mesa community has been a recent focal point on that issue, as Ursa Resources prepares to drill within the residential area.
“I have a ways to go to be brought up to speed with all that the commission is doing,” Jolley said. “I have a learning curve to go through, and no preconceived notions on anything.”
This will be Jolley’s first time serving on a statewide commission of any sort, though he did previously serve on a judicial performance committee for the Ninth Judicial District.
He said he learned of the COGCC vacancy through his association with the Colorado Cattlemen’s Association.
His father, Richard Jolley, was a Garfield County commissioner from 1976 to 1980.
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Interstate 70 through Glenwood Canyon may be closed intermittently Wednesday through the weekend, as highway crews break down and remove boulders and patch potholes caused by Tuesday’s rock slide.