Colorado Rising Responds to Extraction Oil and Gas Company’s Bankruptcy

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Rafael Espinoza 303-598-0209, rafael@corising.org

 

Colorado Rising Responds to Extraction Oil and Gas Company’s Bankruptcy

Colorado Rising’s Litigation Efforts Continue to Halt Permit Applications, Keeping Oil and Gas in Check

 

DENVER, CO, June 15, 2020 – At midnight, Extraction Oil & Gas (XOG) filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. After multiple lawsuits filed by CO Rising against the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) regarding XOG’s financials, this does not come as a shock.

In January 2019, Colorado Rising filed a federal lawsuit against the COGCC alleging, among other things, that the COGCC was illegally allowing Extraction, a private oil and gas operator, to take the mineral rights of private landowners. As part of the lawsuit, we made the case to Judge Jackson that Extraction’s financial condition was questionable. Judge Jackson ordered the COGCC to allow us access to Extraction’s financial records.

In violation of Judge Jackson’s order, the COGCC refused to allow Colorado Rising access to these vital financial documents during the hearing process. In fact, in the numerous other cases we have against Extraction, the COGCC still refuses to allow us access to documents showing that Extraction is not financially stable to operate in the state of Colorado.

“We have great cause to seek these documents as state law requires oil and gas operators to financially assure the state of Colorado that they have the financial capabilities to engage in a project from birth to remediation. The whole damn purpose behind financial assurance is to show that the public and the environment will not be placed at risk and that taxpayers will not be responsible to clean up the mess left by oil and gas” states Joe Salazar, Executive Director of Colorado Rising.

From January 2, 2019, to today, Extraction’s stock dropped from $4.39/share to $0.52/share as of this morning. Let’s remember that at one point Extraction traded in the $20s/share range. In May 2020, Extraction failed to make a $15 million debt payment, which it again failed to pay this month. Despite Extraction’s deteriorating financial condition, the COGCC stubbornly refuses to protect public health, safety, welfare, environment, and wildlife resources as it allows Extraction to move forward with applications to permit. Does the state of Colorado have a plan to protect taxpayers from dishing out millions of dollars for another corporate bailout while these companies go bankrupt and leave a toxic mess behind?

As an organization and through our litigation efforts, we have halted Extraction’s permit applications in areas such as Broomfield and Commerce City. We have fought to protect the community because we know the COGCC will not.

Extraction will not be the last oil and gas operator to file for bankruptcy. All new permit applications should be halted until this administration establishes strict financial assurance requirements for every oil and gas operator.

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Colorado Rising is a statewide, 501(c)4, grassroots coalition of people and organizations working together to protect our communities from the dangers to public health and safety of fossil fuel operations to promote the transition off fossil fuels, and to protect our environment for future generations.

To learn more, please go to www.corising.org

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