American Oil and Gas Reporter - December 2017 - 92
ConventionCoverage: Colorado Oil & Gas Association
Colorado Industry Is Facing
By Dan Larson
DENVER-Despite years of progress
improving safety, protecting the environment and reducing impacts on communities, the oil and natural gas industry in
Colorado faces an intensified opposition
that is well organized and emboldened,
warned leaders of the state's largest industry trade group.
"We must stand up to those who vilify
our work to fulfill their political agenda,"
declared Dan Haley, president and chief
executive officer of the Colorado Oil &
Gas Association as he addressed the
group's annual meeting.
Held Nov. 9 at the Denver Marriott
City Center, the COGA meeting gave
the estimated 600 members in attendance
a recap of events that affected the industry
in 2017, a look ahead, and a call to action
from a popular former governor.
The immediate future, however, could
see some tough sledding, Haley warned.
2018 will be a demanding year and
COGA members should expect the protests
and disruptions of the past few years to
intensify, he said. "Make no mistake,"
Haley advised. "Our industry is under
He cited a rise in community activism,
opposition tactics that were more aggressive and rhetoric that was more inflamed.
"When there is a 'die-in' protest against
the industry at a Boulder County Commission meeting, you know things are getting heated," Haley said as a news media
photo of protestors disrupting an October
meeting was projected on the screen.
Haley said his concern was intensified
when defamatory and profane language
hurled at the industry during public testimony in the state Capitol "was not gaveled
down or told they were out of order."
And when a local newspaper published
an op-ed condoning acts of violence against
oil and gas workers last spring, "That was
just irresponsible," Haley stated.
"This is the world we live in today,"
Haley observed. "This is why we must
commit to being more engaged. We must
Serving as Colorado Oil & Gas Association officers and committee chairmen for 2017 are,
from left, Terry Peltes with Energes Services LLC, Vendor Engagement Committee cochair; Craig Rasmuson of SRC Energy, Vendor Engagement Committee co-chair; Elizabeth
Dahill of The Dahill Group, COGA Connect Committee chair; Stuart Francone of Olsson Associates, Environment, Health and Safety Committee co-chair; Sarah Bartlett with PDC
Energy, Environment, Health and Safety Committee co-chair; Dan Haley, COGA president
and chief executive officer; Patsy Landaveri with Noble Energy Inc., Community Outreach
and Investment Committee vice-chair; Susan Fakharzadeh of PDC Energy, Community
Outreach and Investment Committee chair; Brian Macke with SRC Energy, Environment,
Health and Safety Committee co-chair; Karen Pratt of XTO Energy Inc., Environment,
Health and Safety Committee co-chair; and Sarah Sandberg, COGA chief operating officer.
92 THE AMERICAN OIL & GAS REPORTER
categorically reject the caricature they have
created of the oil industry as villains.
"We will not be bullied, and we will
never apologize for defending our industry
or defending private property rights," he
Haley said he expected the coming
legislative session to be difficult, with
anti-oil bills and contentious hearings on
both sides of the Capitol. He predicted
bills would be introduced again to increase
setback distances, a return of line-location
and flowline mapping bills, restrictions
on operators' ability to pool mineral owners, and an expansion of local governments' authority to restrict development.
Haley added there was a good probability
one or more ballot measures would be
pushed to expand local control.
"It is important for us to inform elected
officials about what we do, the safety of
our practices and the value we bring to
all Coloradans," Haley said.
In 2015, COGA launched its Leadership Education and Development program
"to provide access to the latest studies,
white papers, industry programs, rig tours
and one-on-one interaction with industry
leaders," Haley recalled.
The association added a location tour
program last year that examined how
leak detection and repair efforts were
having a positive effect on emissions.
"When (people) can see the millions
being spent on LDAR to keep our air
clean and keep the product within the
designed infrastructure, it makes a difference," he assured.
Saving The World
With an election year ahead, the importance of being involved in local political
discussions and communities was a common theme for COGA speakers.
Former Colorado Governor Bill Owens,
who delivered the convention's keynote
address, reminded the membership that
it was but 10 years ago that people were
talking about peak oil.
"We were asked what would happen
when the world ran out of oil," recalled
Owens, a Republican who was Colorado's
governor from 1998 to 2006. "Some were