Citizens hammer commissioners on Utah oil shale meeting |

Citizens hammer commissioners on Utah oil shale meeting

Nelson Harvey
Post Independent Contributor
Glenwood Springs, Colorado CO

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – The Garfield Board of County Commissioners continues to come under fire from citizens for taking part in a closed-door meeting on oil shale policy in Vernal, Utah, last March.

At the commissioners’ Monday meeting, Glenwood Springs resident Bob Millette used the public comment period to allege that the commissioners violated Colorado’s open meetings law, or “sunshine law,” when they met March 27 with Uinta County commissioners and oil shale industry representatives to discuss oil shale development in the West.

Notice of the meeting was not posted publicly as the law requires, leading government watchdog groups such as Colorado Common Cause to claim the commissioners were excluding the public from a discussion of public lands.

“This was a political strategy to back a radical plan that hands over our public lands,” Millette said Monday. He asked the commissioners to retract their resolution in favor of oil shale development that came out of the meeting, and to “stop meeting in secret.”

“I’m surprised by your arrogance,” Commissioner Tom Jankovsky shot back. “I’m surprised that you would sit here and tell us that we did something illegal.”

Jankovsky denied any wrongdoing but was confronted again by Glenwood Springs resident Anita Sherman. She asked if he had ever received political contributions from employees of SG Interests. The company is planning to drill for natural gas in the Thompson Divide area west of Carbondale.

When Jankovsky answered with a simple “yes,” Sherman stood up, smiled and left the room.

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