DENVER (CBS4) – The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission is apologizing after sending an inappropriate email ridiculing the very companies it regulates. CBS4 has learned that staff members at COGCC were testing a new e-filing system when they inadvertently sent an email to hundreds of oil and gas workers across the state.

(credit: CBS)

The email called the companies they work for names that you don’t expect from people who are supposed to be fair and unbiased.

The email arrived early Sunday morning with a list of oil and gas companies that had upcoming hearings. The names of the companies included “Snake Oil Inc.,” it’s law firm “Blah Blah Blah” and its cause or case number “666” — a designation for the devil.

Other names included “Acme Company,” “Bad Oil and Gas,” “Really Rich,” “Here We Go Again,” and “The Lorax” — a Dr. Seuss character that warns about environmental destruction.

(credit: CBS)

“As our entire economy is struggling, that they have time to make jokes and horrible comments about the hard working women and men in our industry, it’s just sad,” said Chelsie Miera, who represents oil and gas companies on the Western Slope.

She says if state employees thought it was a joke, operators and workers don’t find it funny. The email comes in the middle of hearings to overhaul the regulatory framework for industry.

“There’s been no acknowledgement that this even happening in those meetings,” said Miera.

A follow up message said only that “the emails were sent in error.”

Miera says she’s concerned that they came from people who control the fate of the industry.

“This unfortunately just really highlights the level of bias that we are dealing with. These are the staff that deal with our permit applications. They’re also ones who go out and do our inspections and issue corrective actions. They’re the ones who help draft these regulations that we’re going through. I expect more from my 2 and 4 year old. We’re working through pre-K and what is and isn’t okay. This is black and white not okay.”

(credit: CBS)

A spokesperson for COGCC released a statement late Wednesday afternoon saying,

“We apologize that some of the names used during this testing were not professionally chosen. The employees involved in this situation have had this addressed by their supervisors. This unfortunate incident does not reflect upon the quality of work that has been and will be conducted by COGCC for all its customers. COGCC has more than 70 years of experience working with our industry partners in oil and gas operations. We are committed to continue to uphold the oil and gas regulations in a transparent, fair and legal manner.”

CBS4 reached out to Gov. Jared Polis’ office. The governor initially had no comment. After the story aired, Polis released this statement:

“This is completely unacceptable. Whether you agree with everything the oil and gas industry does or not, in Colorado we treat everyone with honor, respect and professionalism. I have confidence in Chair Robbins and Director Murphy’s leadership and know that they will be taking this opportunity to make sure all employees at COGCC understand their responsibility to the oil and gas industry and its workers.”

Shaun Boyd

Comments (9)
  1. Ann says:

    How funny to see Trumpers crying over their hurt feelings. When they go around calling other parts of the country names for 4 years? No problem. Speak a little ‘inconvenient truth’? Oh, listen to them squeal! This from folks contesting a ‘fair and unbiased’ federal election! The worm has turned, trumpies, get used to it, again.

  2. ECI says:

    This report was obviously presented in order to make people angry. The commission was testing a new system and they needed names for companies to fill in the blanks, so somebody came up with some stupid names to fill in those blanks and now everybody is upset about something that somebody spent 3 seconds thinking about. Of course, it was an error to send that file to all these people but the names are for imaginary companies, people, and cases. It could have been done better but I’m sure somebody just thought they were being silly and having a little fun while testing a new computer system. This is a complete “nothing burger” and shows no real bias. At worst someone needs to be reprimanded and that is the person that sent the file.

    1. TomTancredoFan says:

      Polis’ very response excoriating cogcc in a later article pretty much blows your feeble conclusion out of the water.

  3. Dwight says:

    They need to be fired plan and simple, you can see by their actions the are bias

    1. Susan Fox says:

      Fire these people who supposedly sent hurtful, horrible emails to good people. This is wrong and very unprofessional.Seriously, whoever thinks this was just a joke or misstakely sent, should also be fired. Very Very WRONG. Every adult knows how to use simple words, without harm, when testing a new email site. This was intentional and hurtful and VERY WRONG. Find out and send these people packing. Pres.Trump would say,, you are fired. And if he finds out about this,,, He would defiantly fire them. There are better people who would love those jobs and would not jeppardise their job this way.

  4. mufan2907 says:

    Lefties: “The COGCC are an unbiased, impartial regulatory body that just want to balance interests in our state.” Sure, sure they are. Just shows again that regulatory agencies have too much power, and are too incompetent to test a system without effing up, which isn’t new for government bodies.

  5. MB says:

    When government permitting agencies self weaponize! – Fire all of these losers at the Colorado Oil and Gas Commission – NOW! Jared Polis needs to ensure that these people are looking for new jobs, maybe he ahs some openings in the DNC.

  6. ZTE says:

    Fire these people! If it were a police officer, they would be fired. To turn a blind eye on this is so sad. Where is the professionalism! Wake up people. I can only hope that the same individuals that thought those terms were funny gets something happening to them when they need a permit or loan or something else that they would need for their lives. Pathetic Colorado! We need to be better. Come on Democratic leaders.

  7. WSG says:

    “The email called the companies they work for names that you don’t expect from people who are supposed to be FAIR and UNBIASED.”
    Look at our local and state leadership and you will find that is untrue. Therefore it follows that the underlings probably will follow suit.

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