New appointees named to oil and gas commission

Five people have been appointed to the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission under a state law that changes the group from nine volunteer appointees to a professional commission.

“This landmark law protects health and safety and our environment while ensuring local governments and Coloradans have a voice when it comes to oil and gas development in their communities,” said Colorado Gov. Jared Polis. “These new appointees will build upon the progress the volunteer commission has made thus far, and the professionalization of these roles is an important step for streamlining the process and increasing regulatory efficiency in Colorado.”

The five appointees are:

Jeffery Robbins of Durango to serve as chairman and a member with professional experience demonstrating an ability to contribute to the commission’s body of expertise and help the commission make decisions. Robbins was previously appointed director of the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission in 2019 and has worked as an attorney in Durango.

Priya Nanjappa of Lakewood to serve as a member with formal training or experience in environmental protection, wildlife protection or reclamation.

Karin McGowan of Lakewood to serve as a member with formal training or experience in public health.

John Messner of Gunnison to serve as a member with expertise in planning or land use.

Bill Gonzalez of Denver to serve as a member with experience in the oil and natural gas industry.

Julie Murphy, chief of staff and senior policy advisor at the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, succeeds Robbins as director. Murphy served as COGCC director before serving as the assistant director of energy and minerals at the Colorado Department of Natural Resources and as an assistant attorney general representing the commission and Division of Reclamation Mining and Safety.