March 22, 2012

Will Anschutz appeal?

I keep hearing rumors that Anschutz may not bother appealing their loss in their case against Dryden's gas drilling ban. There was a strange hint of that in Attorney Tom West's immediate response to the loss, in which he suggested an even less plausible takings lawsuit instead.

Now I see Status of Home Rule appeals uncertain as deadline nears, in which Tom Wilber, author of the upcoming Under the Surface writes:

In a separate ruling issued days before the Middlefield decision, Supreme Court justice Phillip R. Rumsey upheld the Town of Dryden's right to ban mineral extraction activities. The case stemmed from a complaint filed by Anschutz Exploration Corporation, which argued that state permitting laws regulating oil, gas and mineral extraction superseded local ordinances. Tom West, an attorney for Anschutz, told me he did not expect the company to pursue an appeal, which would be expensive. Leaseholds were nearing expiration in the town, and the low price of natural gas and regulatory uncertainty in New York were other disincentives.

It's not time to break out the champagne. He has until April 2nd to file an appeal, and it's a reasonable tactic to be cagy about that until the appeal is actually filed.

Update: Here's the Ithaca Journal on the status of the case, including Tom West complaining about the state he's chosen to do business in for years. Did he just never get out and look around outside of Albany? And apparently his services are just too expensive for Anschutz.

Another update: Tom West claims to have dredged up a bill memo that strengthens his argument... in the Middlefield case. Won't show it publicly, seems to think he should show it to the trial judge rather than include it in an appeal - so it's hard to know what's there and what isn't. We'll see...

Posted by simon at March 22, 2012 7:00 AM in ,
Note on photos


KAZ said:

Because the appeal would be "expensive"? Could this be a problem now that Philip Anschutz is only the second richest guy in Colorado and no longer the first?
Somehow, I doubt that's the reason.