Wildgrass Oil and Gas Committee (WOGc) filed a lawsuit this morning against the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) to challenge the constitutionality of the forced pooling provision of the Colorado Oil and Gas Act. In Extraction’s forced pooling application dated August 31, 2018, there are over 900 Broomfield mineral owners listed who would be force pooled in the Lowell South spacing unit for the Livingston Pad. At the request of Extraction, the COGCC forced pooling hearing due to a WOGc protest was continued to the March 11 & 12 hearings after originally being scheduled for the October 29 & 30 hearings.
The lawsuit was submitted on behalf of WOGc by Joe Salazar of Colorado Rising Communities and Dan Leftwich of Mind Drive Legal Services, LLC. The lawsuit, Motion for Temporary Restraining Order and press release are linked below. The official action is listed as WILDGRASS OIL AND GAS COMMITTEE, Plaintiff v. STATE OF COLORADO; JARED S. POLIS, in his official capacity as Governor of the State of Colorado; COLORADO OIL AND GAS CONSERVATION COMMISSION; and JEFFREY ROBBINS, in his official capacity as Acting Director of the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, Defendants.
WOGc has been challenging the injustice of forced pooling for over two years, participating in countless COGCC proceedings. In the Colorado Rising press release, Jean Lim, a Broomfield mineral owner that is being force pooled, says “We feel powerless. It’s hard to believe this can happen in the U.S. I always thought property rights were protected, and certainly never thought the government could take my property and give it to a private entity over my objections. This whole situation is frustrating and frightening.” Elizabeth Lario, another Broomfield mineral owner, explains that the plaintiffs have been trying for over two years to work with operators, legislators and COGCC in an attempt to protect their rights to no avail. Lizzie said, “… at almost every turn we have been ignored. We are just regular people and have been forced to spend hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars over the last two years just to get up to speed and protect our rights and the health, safety and welfare of our community. Given what’s happened to us we worry about the exploitation of neighborhoods without resources or information.”
The current schedule that Extraction gave to the City for construction on the Livingston Pad shows a start date of early February with drilling to begin in June. Construction has already begun on the Interchange Pads with drilling to begin around March 1.