Encana withdraws motion to dismiss farmer’s case


Encana Oil & Gas Inc. has withdrawn its motion to dismiss a case filed by Rod Brueske that challenges the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission’s handling of an alleged violation at an Encana well near his house (see “Farmer struggles to access evidence for oil & gas fine hearing” in Boulder Weekly, May 2).

Encana’s motion to strike claimed Brueske’s application was late (it was filed on a Monday after a deadline that fell on a Sunday) and its motion to dismiss was based on the technicalities of how the filing was completed, including a certificate not having been filed with the COGCC, and the claim that the relief Brueske requested, namely to plug and abandon the well near his Longmont-area home, was outside the authority of the COGCC.

In an earlier recommendation, Robert Frick, hearings officer for the COGCC, stated that Encana’s motions elevated “form over substance.” He “reluctantly” recommended that the COGCC reject the motions for dismissal from Encana that were later withdrawn.

Brueske was emailed and called on May 3 before the scheduled May 6 hearing to let him know the motion was withdrawn and the COGCC would be in touch about a pre-trial hearing when that date is set.

“I pretty much have all my ducks in a row, it’s just being able to present it correctly,” he says, and adds that he’s still hoping someone steps forward to help him argue his case at that hearing.

“I don’t think there’s anybody in the state of Colorado with the intestinal fortitude to take on the State of Colorado,” he says. “But if we can find somebody that says ‘Yeah, let’s do it,’ that would be cool. I think there’s a possibility of that.”

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