by Pam Zubeck
Seven people have been recommended to serve on the city's oil and gas committee, along with City Council members Val Snider, Angela Dougan and Brandy Williams. The City Council is expected to appoint the following people to the committee, which meets for the first time at 8:30 a.m. Thursday at City Hall.
The committee is being formed to draft rules for drilling on 18,000 acres on the city's east side recently purchased by Ultra Resources of Houston.
The recommended appointees:
Randy Case II: Attorney and developer, former member of the city Parks Board and city Sustainable Funding Committee, Downtown Business Improvement District. Currently a member of the city Public Safety Sales Tax Oversight Committee and El Paso County's Ground Water Quality Committee who helped with the county's proposed oil and gas regulations.
Comment: "I believe there is a need for the city to examine above ground oil and gas exploration and operation policy."
Stephen Harris: Attorney; visiting assistant professor of environmental science at the Colorado College; former trustee on the Palmer Land Trust board and city Parks Board; first chair of the Trails, Open Space and Parks working committee in the 1990s. Represents owners of mineral rights in oil and gas leasing transactions.
Comment: "The city can play a proactive role in the process by establishing reasonable minimum, scientifically-based standards that will protect the public interest as well as private property."
John Maynard: Land-use planner; former city manager of land development; former city planning director at Gaithersburg, Md.; worked on dozens of local subdivisions, including Woodmen Hills, Flying Horse, Northgate, South Pointe, Mountain Shadows and Briargate.
Comment: "Unless determined otherwise by the courts, it is my opinion that, as a Home Rule City, Colorado Springs has the authority to establish land use regulations that protect it from the impacts, both short and long term, of mining activity."
Ed McCord: Former commissioner of the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission; congressional liaison at the Department of Energy; attorney.
Comment: "I believe the city should analyze both the economic benefit of oil and gas exploration and weigh it against the impact on the community. From my perspective, there is unnecessary polarization when it comes to oil and gas development."
Jan Handke: Former statistical analyst with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, environmental health consultant. Also worked for the New South Wales Australia Environmental Protection Authority and for the EPA. Holds a master's degree in health policy from Harvard School of Public Health.
Comment: "Negative impacts if they occur, could have economic consequences, affecting the ability of the city to attract new businesses. Negative impacts could also be difficult to reverse and could affect future generations. Citizens of Colorado Springs deserve a conscientious review by the ity Council of above ground oil and gas exploration and operation policy."
Chris Mendrop: Managing member and president, Corporate Development Capital LLC; former member and manager of Cosner CBM LLC of Gillette Wyo.; formerly with Upstream Energy Producers LLC of Colorado Springs; and former CEO, Blake Street Group LLC, Denver.
Comment: "Should the production of oil and gas resource prove economic and given its proximity to the residential development path of Colorado Springs, it would be in teh city's best interest to form policy that would help guide the development process for the benefit of its residents."
Michael Martin: Formerly Shell Sulphur Solutions, Shell Oil USA; former consultant for Shell Oil in Canada; former president/owner of Devco Companies, Tulsa; also has worked with petroleum companies in Thailand, Malaysia, Dallas and Richmond, Calif.
Comment: The city should examine oil and gas operation policies for these reasons: "as part of a national interest in reducgingt the rliance of the USA on foreign oil; as part of a local interest in maximizing the benefits to the community of oil and gas production in the terms of jobs and revenue; as part of an environmental interest that ensures no environmental harm."