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Garfield County, CMU present seventh-annual Energy and Environment Symposium

Event established to meet the needs of municipal and county officials

The seventh-annual Energy and Environment Symposium takes place April 17-18, at the Grand River Health in Rifle, Colorado. The event, which is hosted by Garfield County and Colorado Mesa University (CMU), features a diverse line-up of speakers for this year’s symposium. New Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission Director Jeff Robbins is addressing the event at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday. 

The symposium runs from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Thursday, April 17, and from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday, April 18, and offers in-field tours of energy facilities, as well as conference-style information sessions. 

CMU Associate Professor of Economics Nathan Perry, Ph.D., is also presenting a first-of-its-kind assessment of oil and gas economic impacts to local governments. 

“Dr. Perry is presenting what is innovative, highly localized economic research, while CMU students are gaining knowledge of regulation, environmental protection and best practices when it comes to energy and the environment,” said CMU Vice President of Intergovernmental and Community Affairs Derek Wager. “Providing hands-on learning and practical experience is a priority at CMU, and is partly why the university remains a co-host of the symposium.” 

In 2013, CMU hosted alongside Garfield County the first annual Energy and Environment Symposium. The event was held on campus at CMU, with a mission of assisting local governments in addressing impacts and understanding benefits of natural gas and oil production in Colorado. In 2014, the event was moved to Rifle to provide a field-level experience for conference attendees. 

The event has become the Centennial State’s premier educational forum and source of information for local governments across the state when it comes to energy production. 

“With attendees hailing from Boulder to Durango and Moffat to Las Animas County, our statewide symposium continues hosting municipal, county and state officials to explore best practices and learn about one of Colorado’s largest and most complicated economic sectors,” said Garfield County Commissioner Mike Samson. “The symposium reaches capacity each year, and we are proud to join CMU in co-hosting regulators, industry and elected and appointed officials from across Colorado.” 

Event planners from Garfield County attribute the event’s setting as part of the symposium’s success. 

“Energy is a hot topic across Colorado, and our diverse group of attendees learn and engage about oil and gas in a setting where collaboration and open communication are prioritized.” said Kirby Wynn, Garfield County oil and gas liaison and event coordinator. “We have seen so much collaboration and so many constructive outcomes from this event, that our commissioners remain 100 percent committed to co-hosting the symposium year after year. This year, 260 attendees representing 55 local governments, plus industry and state regulators, are participating.” 


Presenters for the 2019 symposium include:

Chris Akers, Economist, State Demography Office, Colorado Department of Local Affairs

Jeff Robbins, Director, Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission

Scott Atha, Senior Manager LNG Marketing, Pembina Pipeline Corp.

Leah Martland, Air Pollution Control Division

Will Marshall, Davis Graham and Stubbs

Chris Davy, Bureau of Energy Resources, U.S. Department of State

Scott Potter, RBN Energy

Stuart Ellsworth, Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission

Rick Garcia, Executive Director, Department of Local Affairs

David Jost, DCP Midstream

Christine McKenney, City of Aurora Attorney’s Office

Brian Cain, Director of Public Affairs, Extraction Oil & Gas

Lindsey Rider, Caerus Oil and Gas 

Roy Rudisill, Weld County 

Jeff Robbins, Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission

Jill Hunsaker Ryan, MPH, Executive Director, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment

James Cole, Colorado Legislative Services, LLC

Dr. Tami McMullin, Toxicologist, CTEH, LLC 

Dr. Randall N. Hyer, Center for Risk Communication

Dr. Nathan Perry, Colorado Mesa University

Dale Ratliff, Lewis Bess Williams & Weese P.C.  


Members of the media are encouraged to attend. Please contact Kirby Wynn with any questions. Denver media representatives are encouraged to inquire about audio-visual availability.


Written by David Ludlam