Former Assistant Secretary for Lands and Minerals Management, U.S. Dept. of the Interior, speaks in Rifle

Oil and gas law the topic of August 7 presentation

July 28, 2014

GARFIELD COUNTY, CO – Rebecca Watson, J.D., of the law firm Welborn Sullivan Meck & Tooley, P.C., and a former Assistant Secretary for Lands and Minerals Management, U.S. Department of the Interior, will speak in Rifle August 7 to the Garfield County Energy Advisory Board (EAB) in a community presentation. She will present an educational program related to oil and gas law, named Fracking, Federalism and Federal Environmental Regulation: Is the Oil & Gas Industry Exempt from Major Laws?

Industry critics frequently claim that the oil and gas industry appears to be exempt from environmental regulation. The argument is made that regulatory “loopholes” could leave the industry unregulated and the public at risk. Watson will discuss key federal laws protecting air and water, and describe how these apply and don’t apply to the oil and gas industry. Watson focuses her practice on public land access and energy development for oil and gas, solar, wind, geothermal, and transmission with an emphasis on federal environmental law, according to her law firm’s website.

The Garfield County Energy Advisory Board presentation is Thursday, August 7, from 5:30 – 7:30 pm, at the Rifle Branch Library, 207 East Avenue. Dinner and social time for attendees begins at 5:30 p.m., and the meeting begins at 6 p.m. The community is encouraged to attend. Additionally, the EAB is seeking a Citizen Representative for the Una Bridge/Wallace Creek/Spring Creek area to serve at EAB monthly meetings. Interested county residents who reside in this area are encouraged to apply. Details and the required application form are available online at

The Energy Advisory Board reports to the Garfield County Commissioners, and was created to provide a forum for the public, the oil and gas industry, landowners and local government to engage in positive and proactive communication and actions that encourage responsible and balanced development of energy resources in Garfield County.