Last night Adams 12 Five Star School Board of Education voted unanimously to reject Extraction’s mineral lease offer for its mineral rights under Meridian Elementary in Broomfield and from Great Western Oil and Gas for mineral rights under Century Middle School in Thornton. You can read the letter sent to Meridian families below.
As the letter states, “the board directed district staff to require Extraction to use forced pooling if it continues to move forward with extracting the minerals beneath Meridian.” Wildgrass Oil and Gas Committee continues to protest forced pooling at the COGCC for spacing units of the Extraction project and in the courts for the Lowell South (Livingston Pad) spacing unit.
“Dear Meridian Families:
In our ongoing effort to make you aware of important issues affecting our schools and the Five Star community, we want to provide you an update on a request we received regarding oil and gas activity in the City and County of Broomfield.
In our Aug. 23, 2019 letter to families, we let you know that Extraction Oil and Gas had contacted Adams 12 Five Star Schools with a request to lease 7.85 acres of subsurface mineral rights located approximately two miles beneath Meridian Elementary School’s property.
Surface drilling will take place more than two miles away, at Extraction Oil and Gas’ Northwest A and B pads located on the northeast corner of Zuni Street and 156th Avenue, just south of Northwest Parkway. No surface drilling will take place on Meridian’s property.
In order to address this request to lease mineral rights and determine the best path forward, the Five Star District received multiple legal perspectives from outside counsel to gather more information regarding oil and gas leases. Outside legal counsel provided legal advice to the Board of Education in executive session at its Sept. 4 regular meeting.
Based on recent changes in law and rulemaking around the oil and gas industry, there no longer exists a significant liability for mineral rights owners who decide not to sign leases. As such, the Board of Education voted unanimously at its Sept. 4 board meeting to reject the mineral rights lease offer from Extraction Oil and Gas. Additionally the board directed district staff to require Extraction to use forced pooling if it continues to move forward with extracting the minerals beneath Meridian. The board does not have the authority to stop the drilling and Extraction has already received a permit from the state. The board also received a lease offer from Great Western Oil and Gas for mineral rights under Century Middle School in Thornton. This request was also rejected.”