Free event examines effects of oil and gas drilling


The San Luis Valley could become the next site for oil and gas drilling. Find out what that means to property owners and residents by attending the ASC Community Partnerships Talk Straight to Adams State panel discussion "Oil and Gas Drilling: A Winning Proposition or A Risk We Can't Afford to Take?", starting at noon Saturday, Oct. 15, in the Adams State College Theatre Building.

The event will include information tables, a welcome by Adams State President Dave Svaldi, fracking videos and an overview of the event by Dr. Marty Jones, professor of chemistry.

Rio Grande Drill Site from 1986 Left Abandoned

Rio Grande Drill Site from 1986 Left Abandoned

Keynote speakers, Lance Astrella, Travis Yee, and Gilbert Armenta, will start at 1 p.m. with a panel discussion following, allowing for audience interaction.

Astrella concentrates his practice in the area of energy and environmental matters. He has been a member of the State Bars of Colorado and California since 1974. He received his bachelor's degrees in chemistry and economics from California State University at Chico, a master's degree in economics from the University of California at Davis, and his doctorate of jurisprudence degree from the University of the Pacific--McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento. Astrella is a frequent speaker on energy and related environmental matters and he is often associated as counsel by other law firms which seek his expertise. He was named as one of Colorado's "Super Lawyers" in 2007.

Yee recently graduated from Colorado School of Mines with a bachelor's in economics and a master's in international political economy of natural resources. His education has been focused around the study of natural resource economics and social licensure. Yee began work with COGA in November last year being the purveyor of information of all things oil and gas related to those within industry, legislators, and communities. Recognizing the controversy surrounding oil and natural gas, Yee is also a seeker and lover of balanced data, studies, and discussion. Like any other industrial process, the extraction of oil and gas is not without its faults, but it is also not without its benefits, which are certainly plentiful. Working for an oil and gas trade group has taught Yee the value of fair and balanced discussion in this ever increasingly polarized world. His activities principally focus on researching and staying alert on upstream activities.

Armenta, a fifth generation Hispanic and Native American (Cochiti) rancher, has lived with the industry in his backyard for more than half a century in Bloomfield, New Mexico. Armenta is featured in the movie "Split Estate." After struggling for years to protect his ranch and family, things got even worse. A drilling boom accelerates the number of wells going in on his property. One day, Armenta came home to find a port-a-potty and a huge pile of gravel on top of a small cemetery near his house where his great grandfather and eight other family members are buried.

The event will include music by Wildwood Sounds. Keynote speakers will join other panel members, from a variety of perspectives, including Christine Canaly, San Luis Valley Ecosystem Council director; Gopa Ross, La Veta property owner, and Sierra Club director; Dr. Ed Lyell, Adams State professor of finance and economics.

For more information contact ASC Community Partnerships at 719-587-8209.