BROOMFIELD – Extraction Oil & Gas Inc. (Nasdaq: XOG) has filed a lawsuit against the city and county of Broomfield, claiming officials are violating the company’s existing operating rights in an attempt to shut down operations.
In a complaint filed Monday with the US District Court of Colorado, Extraction says Broomfield City Council has bowed to demands from local residents who oppose all oil and gas operations in the area by using its regulatory powers to target the business.
Specifically, he says a recently passed city noise ordinance that caps nighttime noise at 40 decibels is aimed at the company because it has made it clear over years of public awareness that it cannot shut down operations. overnight and remain economically viable.
The complaint points to multiple demands in recent weeks filed by the city in the municipal court demanding that the extraction comply with the order.
“Broomfield sought the imprimatur of a judge as a supposed means of concealing himself with qualified immunity. However, Broomfield’s efforts to design and confer qualified immunity in this way only serve to prove the opposite: that Broomfield is not acting in good faith (a fundamental requirement for qualified immunity), but knows that it illegally and unconstitutionally attempts to target extraction and deprive Extraction of its acquired property rights, ”Extraction wrote in his lawsuit.
Broomfield City Court has scheduled lawsuits against Extraction for the alleged violations from Monday.
The mining claims that the ordinance came despite significant goodwill towards the city and county in reducing the size of its operation from 12 well sites and about 200 wells to six well sites and 84 wells in 2017, as well as millions of dollars in noise abatement upgrades.
In particular, he cites a public meeting last September where city manager Jennifer Hoffman said the city was looking to find a way to find the extraction in violation of the existing operator agreement in the context of the Senate Bill 181 and a local ordinance, both passed after the 2017 Accord. When it couldn’t, Extraction alleges the city has changed its tone to say that its efforts to shut down operations in the company were in the interest of public health and is now focusing on noise levels.
Extraction is asking federal court to charge Broomfield for damages for his alleged breach of contract and abuse of his police powers, as well as an injunction requiring the city and county to seek federal court approval before to enact another law that could affect mining operations in the city. .
Broomfield City attorney Shaun Sullivan told BizWest the lawsuit has yet to be served on those responsible, but said the lawsuit was similar to the one filed by Extraction and dismissed last spring. The city plans to defend itself vigorously.
“I wish Extraction would spend the money it spends on legal fees on efforts to reduce noise from its industrial activities which disrupt the sleep of Broomfield residents who live just 300 yards away. The Broomfield Noise Ordinance is an effort by Broomfield to protect the peace of its residents and such future regulations are expressly permitted by the operating agreement, ”he said.
The mining filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in June after taking a 30-day grace period on an interest payment on long-term debt of $ 15.8 million in May due to financial pressure wider on the energy industry due to the pandemic. The company said at the time that it lined up a line of credit to continue operating during bankruptcy and was working with creditors to swap some of its long-term debt for equity in a revamped mining.
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