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Community Rights: Still Waiting for its Day in Court

[This is an editoral I submitted March 6, 2017 to local newspapers in time for the Lafayette City Council vote on a Climate Bill of Rights ordinance on the following day.]

With the conservative front pressing its agenda across the country, Broomfield's city council hesitating to pass their own fracking moratorium and prevent imminent drilling in its residential neighborhoods, and Colorado's AG suing Boulder Country over its moratorium on fracking, it is high time that the nascent community rights movement raise its head and tell the Colorado judiciary: we are still waiting for our day in court.

I am going to tell a story here, a story about how the oil and gas trade representation group, the Colorado Oil and Gas Association, sought, and succeeded, in stopping a potent legal threat to its ability to control Colorado government at all levels; about how justice was not served in a Boulder court, and how the public was fooled into thinking it was; and about some legal slight of hand…

Reply to Paul Danish regarding civil disobedience in Lafayette

[An editorial by Paul Danish appeared in the January 19, 2017 issue of the Boulder Weekly, which can be found here. Because his editorial was so biased and one sided, but publicized in Boulder County's most widely read newspapers, I had to pose this response.]

Paul Danish, age 74, ex-Dem turned Republican, past Boulder Council member and candidate for County Commissioner, has penned an editorial that ridicules civil disobedience, minimizes the accomplishments of the Standing Rock protest, is in favor of allowing fracking on Boulder Open Space, and favors a bill currently before the North Dakota legislature that would legalize murder of oil and gas protestors by automobile if they get run over on a state highway. Charming.

Why the Boulder Weekly allows such an angry, biased, and inaccurate libertarian rant to be published is beyond me. I am only glad to see that they allowed a more balanced news story by Rob Jackson in the same issue about the Lafayette city council meeting where t…

What the Colorado Supreme Court does not see...

[Posted as a comment at coloradopeakpolitics.com on May 3, 2016. It is a blog by a conservative that supports fracking, and was crowing over the announcement today] about the Colorado Supreme Court decision that ruled against the Ft Collins and Longmont earlier bans on fracking.]

What COGA and all its supporters seem not to see in this faulty judgement by the Colorado Supreme Court (on May 2, 2016) is the big picture; namely, global climate change. This global imperative, which is happening whether you choose to acknowledge the scientific evidence or not, should have us all throwing ourselves into the true work to defend the planet, and in the process, creating a permanent, sustainable economy, with permanent jobs that people feel good about because it sustains their communities in the long term.

Continuing to support fracking, from that vantage point, makes about as much sense as putting more rocks in your backpack when you're trying to climb to the top of a mountain: it holds you …

In support of Community Rights

[This is a Letter to the Editor that was published in the Boulder Weekly, October 1, 2015. I posted it online at the BW website, and they then printed it in their weekly edition.]
Community Rights 
I would like to add to the comments about the community rights vs. fracking issue, alluded to by Cliff Willmeng and Kate Toan [Re: “Passion without logic is bad” and “Fracking problem fix,” Letters, Sept. 24] I don’t believe the public at large is aware of the tectonic political forces that are involved here, which have consequences for humanity for its foreseeable future, but particularly in the 21st century, and how they will have the opportunity to partake in one of the most meaningful political votes in their lives, should the Colorado Community Rights Network prevail in getting their measure placed on the state ballot in 2016 — which I fully expect they will do. So some further public discussion is much warranted.
I fully support the community rights approach, which I arrived at after ye…

Remarks to the Lafayette City Council to support the Community Rights Act

[The Lafayette City Council heard public comment at their meeting on Sept 16, 2014, about whether they should appeal the court ruling where Judge D.D. Mallard ruled in favor of COGA and against Lafayette Community Rights Act on July 24, 2014. This is the same judge that struck down Longmont's ban. The Council will make their decison by September 30, 2014, I believe. ]

An Address to the Lafayette City Council by Rick Casey, Tuesday, September 16, 2013 concerning public support in defense of the Lafayette Community Rights Act
Dear Council members,
I wish to convey to you tonight why I support the Lafayette Community Rights Act, and hope you to make every effort to defend it in court in the lawsuit that has been brought by COGA, the Colorado Oil & Gas Association.
This charter amendment is based on the legal concept of community rights, which the COGA brief does not even mention; all they care about is making money off of fracking inside our city limits, but I’m afraid they …

This is why I teach...

[As an online teacher of environmental economics, most of my time is spent talking about pollution, cap and trade, marginal social costs, and the like, with the expected student responses... But every once in a while there is an email exchange that makes it feel good to be a teacher, and influence someone's life in a positive way: this was one of them. Below is a response I got from a student to a long response where I explained to him where corporate personhood originated and why it is so significant..]


[This was the student's response: ]
Wonderful explanation, I am looking forward to becoming much more informed and involved. This class has sparked a potential path for me to follow in life at a time when I find myself searching as all I do is plan with beer and I need to be a part of something more fulfilling. I will check out those books you recommended as well, thanks for the tip.
Cheers,
[from one of my students

This was my answer that inspired the student...

Dear student]…
[From an email to a friend, Dec 5, 2012, the day after the tumultuous public meeting of the Boulder County Commissioners in Dec 4, 2012, which was delayed for 30 minutes of citizen protest against fracking:  When I got home after last night's events, I was playing my guitar just to relax....but had the urge to say something about what I'd seen that night...which was pretty special....and this is what I wrote down. 
It's been well received on Facebook, particularly by the mother of the young Earth Guardian it mentions....she wanted to share it, which I was glad to do.
I kind of had the tempo of Dylan's song Tempest going through my head at the time, to get the rhythm right..a 4/4 waltz,…]

When The Children Broke The Law
(by Rick Casey, after observing the Boulder County Commissioners meeting, 4 Dec 2012)

Well the town it was assembled And the commissioners all filed in To take their seats at the high table And have the meeting begin.
But before the meeting got started Befor…