Wild Earth Guardians has filed a lawsuit against seven oil and gas companies over clean air violations at fifteen different fracking facilities in Weld County. Jeremy Nichols, Wild Earth Guardians climate and energy program director says oil and gas companies are routinely constructing and putting oil and gas wells into production before getting their air pollution permits.
“And that’s just patently illegal. It’s contrary to the clean air act, it’s contrary to just responsibility for public health and so our lawsuit aims to hold these seven companies, including companies that many know and are dealing with right now including Extraction Oil and Gas and Crestone Peak Resources, we’re confronting them head on over their failure to take their duty to protect clean air seriously.”
Nichols says the suit is to force the oil and gas companies to acquire the permits needed in order to legally do the work they’re doing while reducing the pollution created by fracking. Wild Earth Guardians seeks to hold the oil and gas companies to the rules and regulations that they have so far been ignoring.
Under former Governor John Hickenlooper, these industries and companies were glossed over and ignored says Nichols, thus being allowed to do as they pleased.
“We’re dealing with a legacy here, a legacy of our former Governor that catered to the oil and gas industry that put public health in the back seat and we’re having to deal with that right now.” Nichols says the administration of Governor Jared Polis is looking into this issue but have yet to take action.
“We hope they do, in the mean time the Clean Air Act, our federal clean air laws, allow citizens to file suit where states or the federal government, the EPA in this case, may not be stepping up. And so we’re not going to wait, we’re not going to sit back and wait for the state to figure things out, we’re not going to sit back and wait for the EPA to engage. We have a real problem on our hands right now and we have solutions, so we’re going to pursue those solutions.”