Tag Archive for Broomfield Fracking Ban

Judge Upholds Broomfield Election; Thereby the Broomfield Fracking Ban Remains In Place!

Tonight the people of Broomfield can celebrate alongside community leaders and environmental advocates! A local judge has upheld the validity of the November election in Broomfield county and therefore the five year fracking moratorium is upheld! The exciting news is considered a victory for the anti-fracking community and also a victory in the arena of citizen land-rights.

Judge Melonakis announced his decision today, Thursday, February 27th. According to the Daily Camera: “In his decision, he said Broomfield acted in good faith when conducting the election and that the results should not be tossed out.” YES!

It is so heartening to see this judge uphold the democratic rights of the people of a Colorado community instead of easily siding with the lucrative special interest groups that lobby on behalf of oil and gas. Perhaps democracy really does have a fighting chance. Plutocracy and oligarchy didn’t win this one. The people of Broomfield won this one! Congratulations to the city of Broomfield for successfully fighting special interests and legally banning fracking for 5 years!

Fate of Broomfield Fracking Moratorium in the Hands of Judge

The protracted battle being waged in Broomfield over the community’s embattled election results on a fracking-ban could conclude very soon. Now a judge has the complete power to toss out the fracking ban. It saddens me that a decision that should have belonged to the community of Broomfield now rests entirely in the hands of one man. But that is what has happened after this very close and very disputed election in Broomfield in November 2013.

At least soon there will be a decision to bring clarity to the outcome of the November 5 election, which has been mired in controversy and court hearings for over three months now.

The two day trial wrapped up on Tuesday February 25th. According to the Daily Camera: “The trial is the result of a challenge to the election brought by pro-fracking group Broomfield Balanced Energy Coalition and Tom Cave, a member of pro-fracking group It’s Our Broomfield, Too. Plaintiffs in the election challenge case want Melonakis to declare  Question 300 that did not pass because of numerous election flaws. Broomfield, which wants the judge to declare that the election results are valid, said the razor-thin outcome was the result of a close election, not flaws in the election.”

No one knows when Judge Melonakis will issue his ruling on the trial. Also it is unknown if the judge has the authority to call for another election to settle this matter once and for all.

This story is developing. . . Stay tuned to NEVER POLITICS for all the updates on this story!

 

Some Comments on Chris Christie and “Bridge-Gate” and the Broomfield Fracking Drama Continues; 75 Uncounted Ballots Suddenly Surface

Happy New Year from NEVER POLITICS!

 

2014 will be a year rich in political news. We have the upcoming midterm elections in November, with the potential for the GOP to win control of the Senate. (I hope not.) And the year started off with a roaring high-profile political scandal in the form of Chris Christie and “Bridge-Gate.” Only a few days ago I was saying to someone how Chris Christie is not presidential and that, if pitched against Hillary Clinton for the presidency, he will lose. Now with this Fort Lee traffic scandal, Chris Christie is being absolutely destroyed in the media. He looks like a bully. One must wonder if it hurts his political odds in 2016. It depends on the outcome of the pending investigations into Christie’s involvement into the traffic closures in New Jersey. If he is found to be lying about his role in this scandal, that could be the end to his presidential ambitions.

I kind of wonder if he got too complacent about his standing as a GOP “Golden Boy” and as a very popular governor, and thought he could get away with some malicious political hanky-panky. This hubris could prove fatal to his ambitions. But then, I must admit, I never found Chris Christie to be presidential. He has cost the state of New Jersey billions of dollars with some of his choices. How is that an example of sound Republican financial shrewdness? Puh-lease.

Here in Colorado, we have a political battle unfolding front and center: the Broomfield Fracking Ban Election Drama! A mysterious box containing 75 uncounted ballots miraculously and suddenly appeared! The box was reportedly found in Election Manager Michael Susek’s office. It is unclear why the box was never counted, or why it was never reported upon by the media in the wake of the mandatory recount that occurred in November of 2013. This thing just keeps getting weirder and weirder. Why won’t the courts and the oil companies just admit that the election is over, and that Broomfield banned fracking?

The media has not reported on the results of this box of uncounted ballots changing the results of the election, which banned fracking for 5 years in the county of Broomfield. This story is developing….stay tuned to NEVER POLITICS to stay up on the news in this debacle!

Judge Refuses to Certify Broomfield Fracking-Ban Recount Results

“Something Is Rotten in the State of Denmark…” – William Shakespeare

Citizens of the county of Broomfield should be upset. Their democratic rights are being subverted. Not only have oil and gas companies sued the Broomfield Election Division, now a judge has weighed into the fray. On December 10th, Judge Francis Wasserman issued an order that bars Broomfield from certifying the election results of the recount over a contentious five-year fracking-moratorium. The order was issued in the wake of a lawsuit filed Dec. 3 by pro-fracking group Broomfield Balanced Energy Coalition. Local lawyers have decried the move by the judge, as the election results, affirming the five year ban, had already been approved by the canvass board on December 5th. Broomfield plans to respond by filing a motion in the court asking the judge to reconsider.

It seems that the democratic rights of citizens are under attack from all sides from special interests. The election should have settled this matter, but now it is being drawn out in court. The oil and gas companies have shifted their tactics. If you cannot win by throwing money into swaying public opinion to support fracking, then buy influence. Buy influence through attack-dog trial lawyers, throwing their weight around in court. Buy the influence of judges who will issue rulings against fair election results. If you can’t win in a legitimate arena (i.e. public elections) win with money and influence.

I have been focusing on the Broomfield hydraulic fracturing ban, but in addition to this ban, there have been fracking bans in Boulder, Lafayette, and Fort Collins. the COGA (Colorado Oil and Gas Association) has filed lawsuit against Lafayette and Fort Collins for these fracking bans. It has become so bad here in Colorado that Representatives like Rep, Jared Polis have spoke out in recent days:

“Colorado Oil and Gas Association needs to focus on winning over hearts and minds, not suing us when they disagree with the legitimate outcome of elections,” Rep. Polis stated. “I call on Colorado Oil and Gas Association to withdraw their lawsuits and stop trying to overturn the recent elections in Lafayette and Fort Collins.”

The majority of Fort Collins, Boulder, Lafayette, and Broomfield voters chose to pass measures to extend drilling moratoriums or fracking bans. And even those who voted against these measures generally agree it is community members, not COGA, who should determine how and whether oil and gas is developed in Fort Collins and Lafayette.

“Local governments have authority to regulate oil and gas land use activities because oil and gas operations are matters of local concern that impact home values and are an important issue for residents and neighborhoods,” Polis concluded. “If the oil and gas industry forces taxpayers to defend these lawsuits it will generate even more public sentiment against creating energy sector jobs and achieving energy independence.”

Attached are links to videos of Congressman Polis speaking of his concerns on these lawsuits:

Video 1:               http://youtu.be/PT3EnfqenXU
Video 2:               http://youtu.be/puQ24uz06KI

Source: Jared Polis’ Official Website

Rep. Polis is a brave man and one of the few members of Congress that I still respect and admire. He is right to speak out on behalf of his constituents. How did the Oil and Gas community respond? Very maturely, by challenging Re. Polis to a public debate on energy. I hope that Rep. Polis continues to speak out against the formidable oil and gas lobby. America must not let special interests undermine our most basic rights. We speak out in elections and we expect our election results to be respected in the eyes of the courts.

Broomfield Fracking Moratorium Passes Recount by 20 Votes and in response, the Oil and Gas Lobby Sues

One month after the 2013 election, we finally have resolution on a Fracking Moratorium in Broomfield County that had been in mandatory recount under law because the vote was so close. The recount found that the 5 year Fracking Moratorium in Broomfield did pass by the slim margin of 20 votes on December 3rd. The moratorium prevents oil and gas companies from conducting hydraulic fracturing within the county lines of Broomfield County for the next five years. But this matter could be far from resolved, as a pro-fracking group has slapped a lawsuit against the Broomfield election division. The suit alleges that Broomfield did not conduct the election correctly. The suit states that “the elections division failed to provide legal access for Broomfield Balanced Energy Coalition (BBEC) election watchers throughout the controversial ballot-counting process.”

Interestingly, the suit was filed just before the recount results came in showing that the five year fracking moratorium had passed. But now that the moratorium has passed, it is galling that the oil and gas lobby won’t concede that they lost, fair and square. The people have spoken, but the pro-fracking community will put their resources into hiring their best attack-dog lawyers to quibble over election technicalities. This whole matter will be watched closely, because the same power tug of war exists across this country between the people and special interests. The election should have settled this matter. If the fracking-ban had failed, you can be sure that pro-fracking groups would have praised the election for being conducted fairly. But the pro-fracking group is calling 18 of the 20 winning ballots into question. The lawsuit argues Broomfield election workers examined voters’ envelopes and ballots at certain times outside of the view of election watchers. The BBEC lawsuit states that BBEC watchers were “systematically denied access … to witness and verify ballots, envelopes and self-affirmations received before and after the election date,” and argues that several meetings regarding election processes took place behind closed doors, instead of being open to the public.

Ultimately, the goal of BBEC is to get an injunction against the fracking-ban while the lawsuit mires the ban in the depths of the legal system. This is insult to injury. Not only do the fracking companies want carte-blanche to be able to frack and hereby ruin the environment and poison homeowners land and drinking water; they also want to remove the power of the American people to speak their will through elections. To rob us of our rights as Colorado citizens to have the power to pass fracking moratoriums in our communities. Will they be successful? Lets hope not. All eyes are on this one. Huffington Post and other national media have been reporting on this. We cannot let corporations subvert the very nature of democracy. They cannot win this. We must win this.

The BBEC is making patently absurd demands in their little lawsuit, such as demanding access to “all information in election documents that is available to election judges,” such as vote logs, and access to what election workers talked about during the alleged closed-door sessions. I hope that these documents show that this election was conducted fair and square and the election results are indeed held up. But the real question is, how much damage can the oil and gas companies do in Broomfield while the injunction against the fracking ban is in place. Only time will tell. Keep checking back at Never Politics to hear more as the story develops.