News reports have recently highlighted the high volume of people who’ve applied to be on the oil and gas task force.  Over 250 names for only 18 spots.  That is some stiff competition, and it is no doubt taking extra time to sift through everyone’s applications.  

This delay in announcing the commission’s makeup has got us wondering…  will those who ultimately end up serving even have enough time to complete their work before recommendations are due to the legislature in 2015? 

Consider the timeline…

The oil and gas task force has to make recommendation to the legislature in time for the 2015 session, which starts in January.  We already know they won’t have much time to hold hearings in November and December because of the election and the holidays.  Assuming members are announced this week, that only leaves 2 full months – September and October – and a few weeks around the holidays.  Let’s be generous and say they’ll have about 12 – 14 weeks to hold hearings and reach the high bar of a two-thirds consensus on all recommendations.

That’s not nearly enough time to hold meaningful hearings around the state, listen to public comment and do the necessary research on this complicated topic.  Then there is the task of digesting all this information before even turning it into tangible recommendations.

Sounds nearly impossible to do that in three months, and just reinforces how phony this whole thing really is.  Gov. Hickenlooper and Rep. Jared Polis needed a quick fix to get through the election, and establishing this task force was their answer.  Whether they want the members of this commission to reach a consensus and succeed is an entirely different story.