- Beartooth landowners victorious in lawsuit against Stillwater County
- PLEASE NOTE: Change in Zoom access code for today’s hearing
- Action alert: Watch court hearing on Zoom, Thursday, 2:00 pm
- Action alert: Stillwater County Planning Board meeting, Wed, 9/4, 7pm
- Must attend! Stillwater County Planning Board: Wednesday, August 7, 7pm
Click to see the Preserve the Beartooth Front video
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Tag Archives: Lawsuit
Stillwater County landowner lawsuit update: County runs out the clock on Judge Jones; hearing set for January 16
In the three months since my last update on the Beartooth Front landowners’ lawsuit against the Stillwater County Commissioners, the Commissioners have carefully followed a familiar path — delay, delay, delay. The result is that a new judge will have to hear the case, likely resulting in more delays down the road.
The landowners filed the suit last February after the Commissioners denied a petition to set up a citizen-initated zone to regulate oil and gas drilling in southern Stillwater County. The Commissioners ruled that the petition did not qualify, even though it met the legal requirement of the signatures of 60% of the landowners in the proposed zone. According to the Commissioners, the petitioners needed the signatures of 60% of the minerals owners in the proposed zone in addition to the landowners.
Delays are nothing new in this case. The landowners originally submitted their petition in November, 2015, and the County has taken every opportunity to avoid complying with the law and granting the petition, which would put reasonable regulations on drilling, not ban it.
Beartooth landowners file motion for summary judgment in zoning lawsuit
Beartooth Front landowners last week filed the critical brief in their lawsuit against the Stillwater County Commissioners. It outlines their argument for why landowners alone, without the approval of minerals owners, should be able to establish a citizen-initiated zoning district. The argument lies at the heart of a central tension in Montana law: the self-determination of landowners to decide what happens on their own property vs. the importance of mineral extraction to the state economy.
Assuming there are no extensions, the County will have 21 days to respond, and then the landowners will have 14 days to reply. That will put the end of briefings in early October. Our attorney has asked for a hearing on the motion, and we are hopeful that Judge Jones will conduct the hearing and issue a ruling on our motion before the end of the year.
To read more, click the link.
Latest developments in Beartooth Front Coalition lawsuit against Stillwater County
Stillwater County’s out of state law firm wasted no time in responding to the Beartooth Front Coalition’s lawsuit against Stillwater County by filing a motion to dismiss the suit. The petitioners have responded, and the case is in motion. This post summarizes the arguments put forward in the case so far, with links to the court documents.
Click the link to find out the details. Continue reading
Stillwater residents give County Commissioners an earful on proposed policy (video)
What occurred yesterday in Columbus is what happens when elected officials ignore the people who pay their salaries.
After four years of stonewalling the hundreds of landowners who petitioned to set up a citizen initiated zone along the Beartooth Front, the Commissioners held a public hearing on Tuesday on a proposed policy that would forever block any group from doing the same thing.
As you would expect, people took the opportunity to express their indignation, not only about the proposed policy, but about the pattern of excuses, inaction, and delay that had brought them to this point.
To read more and watch video of the hearing, click the link. Continue reading
Two Pennsylvania families win $4.2 million water contamination judgment against Cabot Oil and Gas
In a huge victory for landowners over the oil and gas industry, two families in Dimock, Pennsylvania were awarded $4.2 million in a lawsuit over water contamination from shale gas drilling. Dimock is the town made famous for its flammable water in the film Gasland.
Houston-based Cabot Oil and Gas Corporation, the defendant in the suit, had denied that it was responsible for the contamination. They had settled a similar lawsuit in 2012 with 40 other residents on the same road, but, as is usually the case in this kind of lawsuit, the settlement had included a “non-disparagement” clause that prevents plaintiffs from speaking publicly about the case.
Click to read more about this huge landowner victory. Continue reading
Posted in Legal Tagged Cabot Oil and Gas, Dimock, Lawsuit, water contamination 3 Comments
Hearing on Silvertip Zone case in Red Lodge on Thursday, June 4 at 1:30pm
A hearing will be held on Thursday, June 4 in Red Lodge in the case of Martinell, et al, v. Board of County Commissioners of Carbon County, et al. This is the suit filed by residents of the proposed Silvertip … Continue reading
Posted in Community Organization Tagged Belfry, Carbon County Commissioners, Judge Blair Jones, Lawsuit, Silvertip zone 3 Comments
Repost: A visit to the front in the war against rural America
Last week I took advantage of the beautiful Montana spring weather to drive over to Belfry. There I could see for myself the site of the well recently permitted by the Montana Board of Oil and Gas Conservation (BOGC). It … Continue reading
Posted in Community Organization, Politics and History Tagged Bakken, Beartooth Mountains, Belfry, Bridger, Carbon County, Carbon County Research Council, ECA, ECA safety record, energy, Energy Corporation of America, ExxonMobil, Fracking, groundwater contamination, John Mork, Lawsuit, Montana Board of Oil and Gas, Montana Declaration of Rights, Northern Plains Resource Council, production foreman, Senator Tester, skiing, split estate, water, well permits, western meadowlark 2 Comments
What’s wrong with the Montana Board of Oil and Gas Conservation
The Montana Board of Oil and Gas Conservation (BOGC) is not serving the needs of the people of the state and is in need of substantive reform. The current BOGC model may have worked better back in history when mineral extraction … Continue reading
Posted in Community Organization, Politics and History, Fracking Information Tagged 48 hour rule, Belfry well, Billings Gazette, BOGC, Bonnie Martinell, Bret Smelser, Carbon County Resource Council, Charles Sangmeister, Energy Corporation of America, groundwater contamination, hearing, John Mork, Lawsuit, Linda King, Mark Quarles, Mineral rights, Montana Board of Oil and Gas Conservation, Northern Plains Resource Council, Peggy Nerud, split estate, Stillwater Protective Association, surface rights, Tom richmond, violations 48 Comments
Update: NPR on the personal story of Bob and Lisa Parr (audio)
Today we have an update from NPR on last week’s personal story of Bob and Lisa Parr, who last week were awarded a judgment of $2.9 million against Aruba Petroleum for creating a nuisance on their property. If you are receiving … Continue reading
Posted in Personal stories, Shared Letters and Posts Tagged Aruba Petroleum, Bob and Lisa Parr, Lawsuit Leave a comment
A personal story: Bob and Lisa Parr, Wise County, Texas
Telling personal stories The oil and gas boom has been underway for a number of years in many locations across North America, and there are now a lot of stories about individuals and families whose lives have been personally affected. … Continue reading
Posted in Personal stories Tagged Aruba Petroleum, Bob and Lisa Parr, ECA, Lawsuit, neurotoxins, personal stories, private nuisance, property value, TCEQ, Texas, violations, Wise County 15 Comments