DENVER – Western Energy Alliance announced Kim Rodell as the new chair of the board of directors. Rodell is president of Upstream Petroleum Management, a woman-owned small business helping oil and natural gas companies navigate complex regulatory policies and permitting processes. She will serve as the association’s chair until August 2022.
With Rodell’s assumption as chair of the board and Kathleen Sgamma as president since 2016, the top leaders at the Alliance are now women. Previous women who have led the association include Laura Skaer, chair of the Independent Petroleum Association of Mountain States (now Western Energy Alliance) from 1991-1992, and Christine Kennedy, chair in 1996. Sgamma is the second woman to serve as president/executive director, and Karyn Plank Grass was executive director from 1990 to 2000. Today, the Alliance’s staff is 60 percent women.
“Growing up in rural Boulder County, we had oil and natural gas wells virtually in our backyard. So, I was introduced early on to the importance of balancing land uses, protecting the environment, and producing energy close to home,” said Rodell. “I’m excited to serve as the Alliance’s chair because it’s the leading organization advocating in our nation’s capitol and in federal courts for small businesses like mine. Our industry has experienced many transitions in the past decade, including the shale revolution, rapid technological growth, and market downturns. If we’re to succeed over the coming decade in providing Americans and our allies affordable and environmentally responsible energy, this next year will be pivotal. I’m proud to steer the Alliance as we engage in policy debates within Congress and the Biden Administration and continue defending established public lands laws in federal courts.”
“Kim is the right leader for the organization; she’s the entrepreneur of a successful small business with a 100 percent female workforce,” said Sgamma. “The Alliance represents independents, small producers with an average of fourteen employees. Kim’s company helps independents navigate regulatory and permitting processes, which is right in line with the mission of the Alliance. Her leadership with be valuable as we navigate the Biden Administration’s plans to overregulate the industry. With the Interior Department mired in its own anti-oil and natural gas ambitions and unable to execute effectively in the face of our and other legal challenges, Kim’s leadership addressing the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) permitting system debacle over the past few years is fortuitous. Kim knows how to work through the intractable issues that epitomize the department.”
Upstream Petroleum Management specializes in federal, state, and local government regulations. She manages a team of experts who prepare permits on federal, state, or private surface and subsurface. Her experience working with federal agencies includes the BLM, Bureau of Reclamation, Bureau of Indian Affairs, and U.S. Forest Service, as well as many state and local governments. As a long-time member of the Alliance, Rodell has served on the Board of Directors for several years.
As the new Chair, Rodell takes the helm at a critical time for the organization and industry. The Alliance was the first to file a lawsuit to challenge President Biden’s leasing ban on public lands. The case in the U.S. District Court for Wyoming is moving forward swiftly to the merits, with key activity anticipated in the early fall. Industry is also awaiting the Department of the Interior’s interim report regarding its plans to conduct a comprehensive review of the federal oil and natural gas program and impose multiple regulations.
For more information about Rodell, see her company About page and listen to her recent podcast interview with the Women’s Energy Network.
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