The acting director of the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, Jeff Robbins, was promoted Tuesday as the agency’s new director, according to a release from the Colorado Department of Natural Resources.

Robbins was appointed acting director in mid January and has practiced law in Colorado since 1996 for a private firm and as county attorney for La Plata and Archuleta counties, the release said. He also represented Adams and Boulder counties and the cities of Aurora, Dacono, Lafayette and Timnath on oil and gas cases.

“Jeff’s expertise in the oil and gas industry has already proven to be a tremendous asset to the commission,” Dan Gibbs, executive director of the Colorado Department of Natural Resources, said in the release. “We are excited to be able to appoint him as COGCC’s new director.”

Robbins said in the release he is honored by the promotion and gave thanks to Gibbs for the opportunity.

The agency’s mission could change drastically under Senate Bill 181, which proposes sweeping changes in Colorado’s oil and gas industry.

The bill would redefine the mission of the agency to prioritize public health and safety and the environment over fostering the industry and would shift the regulatory paradigm statewide, handing more control to local governments.

Both Robbins and Gibbs testified before a House committee Monday afternoon before the group approved the measure without any new amendments.

During that hearing, Robbins said  contrary to the measure’s opponents  that the bill does not establish a moratorium or a ban on drilling operations across the state.

Nor does the measure enact statewide setbacks for operations, akin to Proposition 112, which state voters shot down on Nov. 6, he said.

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