Colorado launches new committee to study effect of oil and gas industry

Communities in Colorado have been hotly divided on the efforts of oil and gas organizations in the state, torn by a need for the considerable economic advantages and a desire to preserve the state's natural rural beauty. 

On Monday, Governor John Hickenlooper formed a task force in an attempt to reach an agreement on a number of initiatives currently being contested. The 18-person committee is made up of six local politicians and residents, six industry representatives, and six "respected Coloradans," according to La Plata County Commissioner Gwen Lachelt's, who will co-chair the committee with XTO Energy president Randy Cleveland.

Lachelt told The Coloradoan that she is taking the selection of the remaining task force members "very seriously," but when asked if she had any individuals in mind, she replied "Your guess is as good as mine at this point." 

The group is tasked with studying oil and gas development in the state, and will be asked to make recommendations to the state Legislature next year. Two-thirds of the task force must agree before making any recommendation. 

Spokeswoman Paula Beasley for Noble Energy, the state's largest energy producer, told the Denver Post that her organization supports the creation of the task force, explaining that it will avoid adverse ballot initiatives in the future. 

The massive effort to address the needs of both Colorado residents and energy organizations may require Denver management consulting professionals with expertise in oil and gas strategy consulting. With the right insight, a solution can be reached that reflects both the needs of private citizens and the industry that is bringing significant economic opportunities to the state.