To the editor:
Attending a Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission meeting recently was a unique experience to one of my brother’s and my life. Being in attendance we were able to listen and experience firsthand the many issues that came before the commission.
In addition to it being an educational meeting for us, we were impressed with the level of knowledge and different perspectives each commission member brought to the table. At the end of the day, we thought that the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission is accomplishing its mission in part by having a diversified membership. The members of the commission gave us the impression that they take their positions seriously. Each member brings their own unique knowledge and perspective to the table. Commission members come from a broad spectrum of backgrounds, including environmental, agriculture, health, etc.
After we returned to Craig, we learned about an effort to change the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission from a balanced and diverse commission to a less balanced and less knowledgeable commission. House Bill 1269 in the state Legislature is a misguided bill that would make substantial changes to the COGCC.
In the future, if HB 1269 is passed, it would not allow anyone with employment in the gas and oil industry to be a commission member. It would be like not allowing anyone who is a doctor to serve on a medical board. We live in a world in which technology is changing rapidly. This is true in the oil and gas industry, as well. By having members of the commission currently employed in the oil and gas industry, you have people with knowledge of the latest technology being used. It is important to have members of the commission with a more complete picture when making decisions about the rules and issues that come before the COGCC. If HB 1269 passes, the knowledge of current technology being used in the oil and gas industry will be severely limited, if not completely lost.
We need to keep the COGCC members with broad and unique knowledge in different areas of expertise. In short, keep the COGCC moderate.
Please contact your Colorado representative and senator and urge them to vote against HB 1269. Be prepared to ask Gov. John Hickenlooper to veto HB 1269.
Lloyd and Harold Rollins