Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Free on Thursdays? Council needs help on oil and gas

Posted By on Wed, Jan 4, 2012 at 10:45 AM

If you have a previous commitment on Thursday mornings, you can't hope to be involved in the city's efforts to write regulations for the oil and gas industry.

That's because the City Council Oil and Gas Committee, chaired by Councilman Val Snider, will meet weekly from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. Thursdays starting Jan. 26, and concluding May 31.

Snider: 19 meetings ahead.
  • Snider: 19 meetings ahead.

Membership on the panel will include a few council members, notably Brandy Williams, Angela Dougan and Bernie Herpin. It also will include citizens, a representative from El Paso County Public Health, an environmental group representative, and someone from the oil and gas industry, although Snider failed to invite to the table the entity that gave rise to the need for a task force: Ultra Resources of Houston. One might think it would be at least somewhat helpful to have that company involved in the discussion.

After all, Ultra owns 18,000 undeveloped acres on the city's east side, which it bought from bankruptcy of the Banning Lewis Ranch developer last year. No other companies have expressed a desire or intent to drill within the city.

Anyway, the task force will come up with a recommendation to City Council for "above ground" rules on oil and gas exploration. The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission controls down-hole regulations, including oversight of hydraulic fracturing, the most controversial aspect of the prospect of drilling in Colorado Springs. The task force will have no say over that.

Only council members will cast votes at the end of the process, but citizen members must be ready to engage weekly — but only those who have Thursday mornings free.

Here's guidance on how to apply:

Volunteers should submit a letter of interest, a two-page resume, and a response of less than 300 words to each of the following questions:
1. Describe the need you see for the City of Colorado Springs to examine above ground oil and gas exploration and operation policy.
2. Do you represent a particular constituency or advocate a particular position?
3. Describe your previous experience or perspective that could be valuable to the committee.

Completed applications must be received by 5 p.m. Jan. 12 and should be submitted to
Marti Devine
City Oil and Gas Committee
City Council Offices
P.O. Box 1575
Colorado Springs, CO 80901-1575

Electronic information may be submitted to Applications may also be delivered to City Hall, 107 N. Nevada Ave, Suite 300, Colorado Springs, CO 80903.
Councilman Snider may be reached at 385-5485 or

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