Former state lawmaker joins diverse group on energy task force

Bernie Buescher
Bernie Buescher

A former state legislator and secretary of state from Grand Junction joins a diverse mix of public officials and industry representatives on a new task force created to address land use conflicts involving oil and natural gas production in Colorado.

Bernie Buescher, a state representative who went on to serve as Colorado secretary of state, was among the 19 people appointed to the task force by Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper.

The governor created the task force as part of a compromise to avoid what was shaping up as a divisive and costly campaign battle over ballot measures that had been proposed for the general election in November.

“Critical to the success and effectiveness of this task force is ensuring there is balanced and informed representation,” Hickenlooper said. “We are confident that the task force members we have assembled to take on these critically important issues for our state are exactly the right group to ensure that Colorado’s economy and environment remain healthy and robust. We are grateful to all of these board members for their willingness to work together to help find the right solution for Colorado. And we are grateful to the many applicants who submitted their names for consideration.”

The task force is charged with crafting recommendations to help minimize land use conflicts that could occur when oil and gas facilities are located near homes, schools, businesses and recreational areas. The group soon will begin meeting, and its anticipated that recommendations will be ready in March.

The 19-member task force will be led by Gwen Lachelt,  a La Plata County commissioner, and Randy Cleveland, president of XTO Energy.

The other task force members are:

Sara Barwinski, a member of the community group Weld Air and Water.

Peter Dea, president and chief executive officer of Cirque Resources.

Jim Fitzgerald, a rancher, educator and activist.

Russ George, former Speaker of the House and former executive director of the Colorado Department of Natural Resources.

Jon Goldin-Dubois, president of Western Resources Advocates.

Brad Holly, vice president of operations in the Rocky Mountain Region for Anadarko.

Dan Kelly, vice president of the Wattenberg Business Unit of Noble Energy.

Rebecca Kourlis, retired justice of the Colorado Supreme Court and executive director of Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System.

Steve Moreno, Weld County clerk and recorder.

Perry Pearce, manager of state government affairs in the Rocky Mountain Region for ConocoPhillips.

Kent Peppler, a farmer and president of the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union.

Pat Quinn, former mayor of Broomfield.

Bruce Rau, vice chairman and treasurer of the Colorado Association of Home Builders.

Jeff Robbins, an attorney with Goldman Robbins & Nicholson.

Matt Sura, an attorney.

Will Toor, a former Boulder mayor and Boulder County Commissioner.

Elbra Wedgeworth, chief government and community relations officer for Denver Health.

Scot Woodall, president and chief executive officer of the Bill Barrett Corporation.