Hickenlooper’s chosen ones

September 9, 2014

Colorado, fracking

Hickenlooper names task force to defuse drilling land-use conflicts

— and shut down public dissent and grassroots organization.

The task force will be led by La Plata County Commissioner Gwen Lachelt and XTO Energy Inc. president Randy Cleveland. The members include:

• Sara Barwinski, member of community group Weld Air and Water

• Bernie Buescher, former Colorado secretary of state

• Peter Dea, Cirque Resources LP president and CEO

• Jim Fitzgerald, rancher, educator, activist

• Russ George, former speaker of the House and past director of Department of Natural Resources

• Jon Goldin-Dubois, president, Western Resources Advocates

• Brad Holly, vice president of operations (Rocky Mountain Region), Anadarko

• Dan Kelly, vice president of Wattenberg Business Unit, Noble Energy

• Rebecca Kourlis, retired justice of the Colorado Supreme Court

• Steve Moreno, Weld County clerk and recorder

• Perry Pearce, manager of state government affairs (Rocky Mountain Region), ConocoPhillips

• Kent Peppler, president, Rocky Mountain Farmers Union

• Pat Quinn, former Broomfield mayor

• Bruce Rau, vice chairman, Colorado Association of Home Builders

• Jeff Robbins, attorney, Goldman Robbins & Nicholson

• Matt Sura, attorney, Law Office of Matthew Sura

• Will Toor, former Boulder mayor and Boulder County commissioner

• Elbra Wedgeworth, chief government and community relations officer, Denver Health

• Scot Woodall, Bill Barrett Corp. president and CEO

Read more about the task force members –

Out of balance: An in-depth look into Hickenlooper’s oil and gas task force

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7 Comments on “Hickenlooper’s chosen ones”

  1. maryinline Says:

    How many represent any community west of the Divide?

  2. Peggy Tibbetts Says:

    That would be NONE.

  3. maryinline Says:

    This in itself is more of concern, and upsetting, than the names on this list or the deal Polis and Hickenlooper sealed.

  4. Peggy Tibbetts Says:

    Not surprising Mary. There are no fracking bans here. No grassroots uprisings. The industry has the screws tightened down quite firmly in western CO. This area serves as an example to the front range operators. The ALEC-funded Club 20 has trained, infiltrated, and established their leadership in our municipal and county governments. Industry rules. It is as Fiona says: “name one project we’ve stopped.” There is nothing to negotiate. They won. We lost. We are the Third World. No one is listening to us and no one cares.

  5. maryinline Says:

    The one light I see, at the end of the tunnel, came from a presentation I attended two weeks ago, sponsored by the Colorado Community Rights Network (COCRN). I heard Thomas Linzey speak of his experience, as an attorney for the Environmental Defense Fund, helping communities defend their right to determine what types of business is promoted in their communities. I was impressed with what they – the CELDF – are doing to help communities like Lafayette, CO guarantee their “Right to Local Self-Government Guaranteed by the State & Federal Constitutions”.

    Cliff Willmeng is coming up the RF Valley on Wednesday, September 24th to present the details of his “Motion for Preliminary Injunctive Relief” to exercise his right in adopting a Charter Amendment that changes Lafayette’s system of municipal governance. Initiative #75 is meant to support a community’s right to local, self-government, declaring that people have an inherent right to local self-government in counties and municipalities…and so on.

    I’m working with Cliff to secure a location for him to conduct his presentation, and I’d love for you to attend. This is more than banning fracking. As Linzey points out, Monsanto, industrial hog, cattle and chicken farms, as well as water bottling companies, work with state government to preempt local authority over the use of state lands.
    Initiative #75 addresses this preemption issue.

    COCRN didn’t collect the signatures needed to get Initiative #75 on this year’s ballot, but I want to help get it on next year’s ballot. In order to do so, we (those of us on the western slope) need to learn about it, and understand it well enough to help educate others, and get enough signatures.

    This is less about getting signatures, blindly, from the electorate. It’s about educating the public on the fundamental rights all US citizens hold, regardless of whether states are illegally removing them for the benefit of corporate control and profits.

    I refuse to accept a take-over of my adopted place of residence. New Englanders still practice the original form of Democracy, with annual Town Meetings to make decisions on important municipal decisions. Town Meetings are also called to order whenever an important issue is at hand, and the public is given the opportunity to learn the facts, and weigh-in on the decision.

    Any help coordinating a location for Cliff to conduct his presentation would be well received.

  6. Broxi Says:

    What I understand this article to mean, and in a nutshell, this is the strong-arm (bully) tactic force marching in to tell people to shut-up and suck-it-up! Any questions and we’ll destroy you. This is how I see it.

    Is this a Hickenlooper exit strategy? What is the payoff for him? I see deep pockets getting deeper and more people getting into bed with the people who are going to make sure that Fracking is not banned.

    I don’t know if meetings work either. I’ve been to a few, it is more of pacifier tactic from coalition groups that let the community people know “it’s gonna be okay, the apps have to be approved first.” When all the while, the deal is already approved and done.

    We need people who have won battles like this, and they don’t live in the US. It would be nice to learn how other world leaders are winning to ban fracking in their domain.

  7. Anita Sherman Says:

    The Polis/Hickenlooper compromise that formed the “Blue Ribbon Commission” is Garfield’s EAB on steroids, and another layer of the toxic “frack attack” onion that keeps the sovereign separated from their inalienable rights. Sad that the Dems go “all out” for birth control access, but “cower complacent” to industry when it comes to our communities birthing healthy babies without “fracking” endocrine disrupting chemicals being leached into their bodies from womb to tomb. No Bob Arrington or Lisa Bracken on this list sums things up. No one from Garfield County – period. The “Blue Ribbon Commission” is about as legitimate as COGCC actually enforcing strict methane regulations. But then again, with new info about the molecular components of burning gas as being potentially worse than coal, methane might be the least of our worries. Permits and profits before people.

    The pending CO Federal Class Action challenging COGCC, as being “unconstitutional”, is quietly ripening. A Notice of Intent was filed with the Colorado Attorney General and the Colorado Solicitor General. As a constitutional challenge there is no time limit to file the ripened “well pleaded” complaint. No Media fanfare. No organizational “Messianic Messengers” traveling from the front range to shine a light, trying to lure folks into paying bills with time, talent, and treasure on failed initiative debts. Anyone can engage in a simple personal activity of reading through the working draft WTPOC claim without the meetings, committees, organizational slants, or partisan posturing, and connect as individual “not organizational” support.

    The “working draft” claim provides a history lesson on how our inalienable rights are being fracked by a errant pre-emption ruling – Lundvall v Greeley (1992) using common law “Dillon Rule” – in our Home Rule state. And, “state interests” using the unchallenged 1992 high court ruling to support laws changing COGCC to a governing authority by legislative statute a decade after Lundvall. That action changed our state’s governing system without a vote to amend our constitution in a Home Rule Chartered state, creating facially “Unconstitutional” statute, and escalated when the Gov filed suit against Longmont; enforcing unconstitutional statute.

    The kicker? All the laws that were supported in the Lundvall v Greeley pre-emption ruling no longer exist because the feds added a loop hole that made O&G exempt from all the major federal environmental protection laws. In other words, the Feds vacated the field with regard to public health, safety, and environmental protection from the O&G industry, that the WTPOC Plaintiff Class cites in their constitutional challenge. The Lundvall ruling has multiple readings based on the Feds vacating the field with regard to providing equal protections under the law.

    The WTPOC format is a proven winner in several “Home Rule” states, like NY/PA/CA, and moving to other states for application. Our state doesn’t need amendments that attack pre-emption by supporting municipal sedition, like ballot #75. Colorado has its roots in Progressive Libertarianism. It’s time to challenge pre-emption in our states, based on changes to federal statutes that don’t provide equal protection. Without equal protection there is no due process of the law. The two rise and fall together as a benchmark for determining the constitutionality of laws being passed.

    All eyes should be focused on Longmont (not Lafayette), as the town appeals in its move toward a high court ruling. The WTPOC pending federal class action is the 800 lb gorilla, strategically waiting in the court room. As Longmont moves through an important judicial process, it would be foolish for the WTPOC Plaintiff Class to file before Longmont gets its high court ruling. As that process unfolds, Garfield residents can engage in direct actions by: 1) Voting out one industry lobbyist commissioner this Nov. (Vote Michael Sullivan), 2) Start a “neighbor to neighbor” petition for the current commissioners to put the county Home Rule question on the 2016 ballot, 3) Returning compliance language to the county comp plan, by petition and/or court challenge, 4) Reinstating all the 1041 regulations to the county land use codes, immediately based on pre-emption laws that don’t provide protections the commissioners claimed pre-empted local control of public health, safety, and properties protected from toxic trespassers.

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