FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contacts: Anne Lee Foster: 757-870-5102, firstname.lastname@example.org
Colorado Rising Takes Aggressive Litigation Stance Against Extraction Oil and Gas (XOG) and COGCC
DENVER, COLORADO — Extraction Oil & Gas, Inc. withdrew its COGCC applications for spacing and forced pooling permits for a well on the Livingston pad in Broomfield County, Colorado. The Broomfield Livingston pad has been a source of serious litigation since the beginning of 2019 and gained national notoriety when Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted a video of the site emitting pollution. Cases have been filed in federal and state district courts to stop Extraction’s operation. This particular case resulted in Colorado Rising, on behalf of other objectors, filing a complaint in Denver District Court seeking a stay of all permitting in Colorado until COGCC rulemaking is complete under SB 19-181.
Had the COGCC granted these permits, hundreds of families and an entire community would have been further affected by the residential fracking operation that has already caused many health impacts. Extraction’s decision to withdraw the applications came just a few days after Colorado Rising, representing the community organization Wildgrass Oil and Gas Committee, filed a supplemental brief with the COGCC identifying due process violations committed by Extraction.
“We made the conscious decision to take an aggressive litigation stance against any and all oil and gas operators seeking permits from the COGCC,” stated Colorado Rising Executive Director, former state representative, and lead attorney Joe Salazar. “Likewise, we have our sights set on the manner in which the COGCC is/is not implementing SB 19-181, which was promised to be a sea change in how the fossil fuel industry will be regulated. What we’ve seen is a confusing mess of arbitrary rules and regulations that do not meet the intent of SB 19-181,” said Salazar.
“Our community has been dealing with the same issue for three years now. We have followed the rules and gone through the proper channels time after time,” says WOGc Board Member Lizzie Lario. “We have been consistently told that although the rules and regulations probably were not designed to apply to residential drilling projects, these are the rules and regulations right now, and so the COGCC just clicks, rubber stamps, and approves permits.” Lario also states, “This is the exact reason legal action is necessary. There is an acknowledgment from those in power that the process is broken, yet permits continue to be approved. In light of the new Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment health study, the COGCC needs to pause residential permitting until rulemaking around SB19-181 is completed.”
While Extraction’s COGCC cases are now over for this particular residential oil and gas development, Colorado Rising intends to keep the Denver District court case going. “Because of statements from the COGCC director and the rulings of the hearing officers, we believe the COGCC will continue to repeat its arbitrary and unconstitutional conduct on future applications. At some point, this madness will end when rules are finally in place under SB 19-181. Until then, we will press ahead to pause permitting in order to protect Coloradans,” stated Salazar.
Colorado Rising is powering the grassroots movement to protect public health & safety from dangerous oil & gas operations.
To learn more, please go to www.corising.org