Oil and gas symposium set for Hayden | SteamboatToday.com

Oil and gas symposium set for Hayden

Joe Moylan

— As Northwest Colorado prepares for a potential energy boom, two Yampa Valley organizations are hosting a symposium to discuss how oil and natural gas exploration might affect Moffat and Routt counties.

Yampa Valley Data Partners and the Community Agriculture Alliance hosted the first Northwest Colorado Oil & Gas Symposium in September 2011 in Hayden.

The second event is slated for 5 p.m. March 14 at the Hayden High School auditorium, 495 W. Jefferson Ave.

"It's such a big and complex subject," said Kate Nowak, executive director of Yampa Valley Data Partners. "We wanted to provide nonbiased education so people can get more information on what the oil and gas boom might look like in our backyard."

Scheduled speakers include Routt County Planning Department Director Chad Phillips, Steamboat Springs attorney Ralph Cantafio and John Lamb, of Steamboat Energy Consultants.

Even organizers also hope to have an economist and an environmental representative speak at the event.

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Lamb is expected to discuss the process of oil and natural gas development, Nowak said. Cantafio will address how lease transfers among companies can affect landowners. Cantafio said he also might talk about a paper he co-authored about hydraulic fracturing.

"I've presented on this issue several times now, and it's become clear to me, from the questions I've been asked, that people don't really understand the process of fracking," Cantafio said. "I scratched my head and pondered why that might be, and it became pretty obvious that there are two pretty significant bodies of information: either super, highly technical industry data or, on the other side, a ton of incomplete information either from environmental groups or industry that really doesn't provide a true representation of the scientific issue."

Tickets for the Northwest Colorado Oil & Gas Symposium are $20. The cost includes a light dinner.

The registration deadline is March 9.

Nowak recommended that anyone who is interested in attending sign up early.

"We sold out early" last year, she said. "Even though we have a bigger venue, I imagine a lot of people are going to want to attend."

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