FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Anne Lee Foster: 757-870-5102, firstname.lastname@example.org
Colorado Rising Files Complaint to Halt Oil & Gas Permitting in Colorado
COGCC VIOLATING DUE PROCESS IN PERMITTING OF NEW WELLS
DENVER, COLORADO — Today, Colorado Rising, on behalf of Wildgrass Oil and Gas Committee, filed a complaint requesting judicial review in Denver District Court concerning the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission’s process of approving new oil and gas permits.
On July 3rd, 2019, Extraction Oil and Gas filed for a permit for a wellbore spacing unit in Broomfield, well after SB-181 was signed into law. SB-181 is the oil and gas reform bill, passed by the state legislature this spring, that requires the prioritization of health and safety, evaluation of cumulative impacts, increased financial assurances for new drilling, among other things.
When mineral owners (Wildgrass Oil and Gas Committee) in the area of the spacing unit brought the considerations of the new law to the COGCC’s hearing officer, the officer first expressed concern for not knowing how to proceed with permitting of the spacing unit because no rules where in place to fulfill the new requirements and address the concerns raised (paragraphs 15-17 in the complaint).
Later, Wildgrass Oil and Gas Committee requested a stay on the hearing and for discovery to be granted in regards to health and safety, the financial health of Extraction Oil and Gas, and other considerations included in SB-181. Those motions were denied by the hearing officer and Wildgrass was told that the old rules would apply to the permit application. That decision triggered the complaint and request for relief.
Colorado Rising and Wildgrass have requested a stay on all permitting until the full rulemaking has taken place.
Anne Lee Foster, Communications Director for Colorado Rising said, “This case is an example of a systematic problem at the agency. Governor Polis has created a quagmire by flipping oil and gas permitting on its head all while declaring that fracking approvals must continue. Unfortunately, everyday people are the ones caught in the political crossfire and are suffering in their homes due to industrial fracking nearby. Pausing the permits is the responsible thing to do.”