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Energy Facts

Meet Your Neighbor: With Sarah Clark

Friday, January 9, 2015

Who are you?
I’m the friendly face of fracking! In all seriousness, I’m proud to be a knowledgeable and respected information resource for friends, family, and neighbors about industry techniques and technologies, as well as federal and state law and policy.

Describe your job and what makes your work exciting.
I love being a lawyer and lobbyist on the front line of energy issues here in Colorado. This year, for example, I was part of the dynamic legal team that helped the effort to oppose the numerous anti-oil and gas ballot initiatives we faced.

Who do you admire within the industry, and why?
The late Bob Welborn. I got my start as an oil and gas litigator at Bob’s firm, and his mark on modern natural resources law and commitment to community involvement affirmed my early pursuits. His representation of the State of Colorado before the U.S. Supreme Court in a landmark interstate water dispute back in the 80s is an enduring legacy and something for me—a native Coloradan like Bob—to aspire to.

What do you wish people better understood about your job or our industry?
That above all successful advocacy requires credibility and legitimacy, which are established less with shrewdness and maneuvering—though there is a time and place for those things—than through integrity, trust, and collaboration.

Tell us about an emerging technology or trend that you are excited about.
Having been elected to Edgewater’s city council back in 2009, I’m a firm believer in the maxim that all politics is local. While community outreach is nothing new to our industry, it’s emerging as a key to continued and responsible resource development. Recently, we’ve seen that proactive engagement at the local government level can facilitate meaningful dialogue with decision makers and citizens, which more often than not brings about an alignment of common values and goals critical to both short- and long-term success.

What do you see as one of the most important issues the industry is facing today? How do you see it evolving over the next five years?
If nothing else, this year’s ballot initiatives taught us that citizens are hungry for information about oil and gas development and that proactive efforts to educate the public about how resources are developed, how industry is regulated, and how responsible development benefits the economy go a long way. I predict that robust and proactive education, hand-in-hand with community outreach, is here to stay.

What advice would you offer to someone just starting a career in the industry?
If you or your company is affiliated with the Rocky Mountain Association of Geologists or the Denver Association of Petroleum Landmen, do NOT pass up an opportunity to go to GeoLand Ski Day! It’s the most fun day! Ever. Period. End of story. This year, several busloads of geologists, landmen, land managers, attorneys, and vendors will head to Beaver Creek in early March for skiing, snowboarding, and an amazing après party and auction to benefit the DAPL Scholarship Fund.

What was the last book, publication, study, or journal you read? Would you recommend it?
Isabella Bird’s memoir, A Lady’s Life in the Rocky Mountains, recounts her remarkable stay in frontier Colorado. A series of letters written by Bird as she rode around the state on horseback in the winter of 1873, the book is an inspiring story of adventure, wildlife, and untouched landscape—this is a lady who climbed Long’s Peak in bloomers! Bird’s descriptions of the scenery she saw—the mountains, forests, and sunsets that still surround us—are enjoyably familiar and identifiable.

When you aren’t at work what do you prioritize?
You can find me in Jefferson County Open Space or around Sloan’s Lake training for next year’s Berlin Marathon, or volunteer ski patrolling up at Ski Cooper in Leadville.

If you woke up and the world was perfect, what would it look like?
Every day would be GeoLand Ski Day! Seriously, you should go.


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Meet Your Neighbor: With Sarah Clark

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