On behalf of the COGCC, Attorney General Cynthia Coffman filed a motion on August 30 in Denver District Court to dismiss the claims of the Wildgrass Oil and Gas Committee (“WOGc”) lawsuit that challenged the June 1 decision of the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Committee (“COGCC”) to grant drilling permits for the Livingston pad in Broomfield. The premise of the WOGc lawsuit is that the COGCC failed to take into account health, safety, environment, and economic issues with the massive residential drilling project planned by Extraction Oil and Gas (“XOG”) in Broomfield (the “Project”).
Please read the entire motion to dismiss here. In it, the Attorney General states, “Nowhere within its Complaint does Plaintiff allege facts demonstrating how any of its individual members are or will be ‘affected or aggrieved’ by COGCC’s approval of the Livingston Drilling Permits. In fact, Plaintiff does not plead facts about any individual member with any particularity.” Actually, WOGc has challenged the Project through the COGCC protest process, but was repeatedly denied access to information and a proper hearing. The Wildgrass subdivision in Broomfield has been active in challenging the Project for more than two years from their unique position as individual homeowners who own their mineral rights in a dense residential neighborhood close to the proposed 19 wells of the Livingston Pad.
Residents of Broomfield who are familiar with the conditions of approval of the Operator Agreement will recognize the irony in this statement in the COGCC’s motion. The COGCC claims that WOGc does not have standing to file a complaint, stating, “As such, the Commission relies on local governments to bring forward hearing requests when concerned about permit applications, including concerns of organizations like the Plaintiff – that did not happen here.” The reason it could not “happen here” is that Broomfield gave up its right to protest when it signed the Operator Agreement with Extraction on October 24, 2017.
The lawsuit challenges the Livingston permits, and seeks a proper hearing on the entire Project so that COGCC can take into account the health, safety, environmental, and economic issues with the Project as a whole. Please read the lawsuit here. It was filed on July 6 and amended on August 16.
Affected Coloradans Together (“ACT”), a Colorado non-profit organization, is accepting donations to help fund this effort and other efforts protecting Colorado residents that are negatively affected by residential oil and gas development. If anyone is interested in donating, please make checks out to ACT and mail to ACT, 14794 Stoney Creek Way, Broomfield, CO 80023-8793. If you want to donate your mineral rights please contact ACT for more information: AffectedColoradansTogether@gmail.com. Please note that ACT is the process of securing 501(c)(3) status from the IRS. Thus while they are able to collect donations, your donation will not be officially tax deductible until the status is officially approved, which their lawyers feel confident will happen.