WMC Officers - Advisory Committee

Laura Skaer, American Exploration & Mining Association, Spokane WA

(509) 624-1158 x 16

Laura Skaer is the Executive Director of the American Exploration & Mining Association (AEMA) (formerly Northwest Mining Association), a position she has held since December, 1996. Under her leadership, AEMA has grown to be the largest membership-based mining industry trade association in the U.S. She has established a proven track record in successfully influencing the outcome of political dialogue, in building effective working strategies with key elected officials, in developing and coordinating the industry’s response to legislative and regulatory issues, in improving the industry’s public image, in effectively building coalitions with other natural resource industry groups and public land users, and in galvanizing the grassroots. She is a highly respected advocate at all levels of government.

She has thirty-five years of management, operations, legal and government affairs experience in the natural resource industries on private and public lands throughout the west, and specifically in Nevada, Washington, Colorado, Montana, Idaho, Oregon, Nebraska, Wyoming and Missouri. She has testified numerous times before various congressional and state committees on mining, environmental, public lands, oil and gas, and national, state & local tax issues; and has spoken at numerous conventions and technical meetings.

From June, 1979 through May, 1995, she served as vice president and general counsel of Skaer Enterprises, Inc., an independent oil and gas production company. Prior to working in the oil and gas industry, she was an associate and partner in the Kansas City, Missouri law firm of Blackwell, Sanders, Matheny, Weary & Lombardi (now Husch Blackwell LLP), where she specialized in tax planning and advocacy for corporate, charitable and individual clients.

She served as President of the Independent Petroleum Association Mountain States (now the Western Energy Alliance) in 1991 and 1992, and as Regional Vice President of the Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA) from 1989-91. She served on a select national oil and gas tax advisory group from 1984 through 1992, and was instrumental in obtaining congressional approval of critical alternative minimum tax relief for independent oil and gas producers in 1992. She chaired the IPAMS Tax Committee for 5 years, drafted legislation that reformed Colorado’s severance tax law and was recognized as an industry tax expert on income, real and personal property and severance tax issues in Colorado, Wyoming and Nebraska.

In 1992, Governor Roy Romer appointed her to Colorado’s Minerals, Energy and Geology Policy Advisory Board. She was re-appointed in 1994, and was elected to chair the multidiscipline advisory board. She received the Colorado Oil & Gas Association’s Distinguished Service Award in 1990 and a University of Missouri Faculty-Alumni Award in 1991. In 2004, she received the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s Sustainable Development Award and a Special Recognition Award from the U.S. Forest Service, Division of Minerals & Geology Management.

In December 2013, she was named one of 100 Global Inspirational Women in Mining by Women in Mining UK.

She earned a Bachelor of Science with honors in Business Administration in 1970, and a Juris Doctor, Cum Laude in 1974 from the University of Missouri. She currently serves as a Trustee of the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation, is a member of the Colorado and Missouri Bar Associations, and on the advisory board of the Women’s Mining Coalition.

She loves the Lord, is an active member and Deacon of Beyond Grace Fellowship Church in Spokane, and sponsors two children in Zambia through World Vision. She serves on the Mayor’s Business Advisory Council for Spokane WA and is president of the Spokane/Coeur d’ Alene area alumni chapter of the University of Missouri. She has a commercial pilot’s license, is an avid golfer, an audio enthusiast, a rock concert junkie, collects LPs, and loves to listen to rock n’ roll music from the late 50’s through today.