No Fracking Way

Anschutz v Dryden: Fracking Flop Flipper

by Chip Northrup on March 30, 2012

Predictably, and despite all the melodrama that Tom “Fracking Flop-Flipper” West could muster, Anschutz appealed the Drdyen decision, and the Cooperstown Holsteins (a very minor league team) may appeal Middlefield based on a 31 year old bit of anecdotal evidence. 

Here is Flop Flip Tom gassing about the Dryden appeal:

“About a week ago, West said Anschutz was looking to see if someone else would take over the case. He said Anschutz was looking for someone else to fund the case. “It is a complex situation and there will be more unfolding about that,” he said. “But the case is moving forward on appeal. That is the news for today.

Meaning that’s the BS du jour from the Tom West Traveling Frack Show:

Fracking Flop Flipper told reporters a different story the previous week:

This appeal/ non-appeal “tease” followed the on/ off “takings” claims Tom Boy threatened – which did not materialize – and won’t, since it is without merit – a flop. 

Then there was the 31 year old  “mystery memo”  – which could not amount to a hill of beans  or Anschutz would not be trying to farm-out his lawsuit – and Jennifer Huntington would not be out scrambling to raise money for her appeal, after her case against the town flopped at trial. 

Why all the floppy histrionics ?  Was it because he’s a fracking thespian and his clients indecisive ? Was it because the “mystery memo” was just more hooey from Frackin’ Tom ?

What probably happened is this – Anschutz has little economic upside in this under current dry gas economics. So they probably were trying to get some industry group to pay for or share the cost of the appeal – as a political / lobbying exercise; in industry parlance, they are trying to “farm out” their lawsuit to partners.  Their chances of winning on appeal are slim, based on the comprehensive rulings in both Dryden and Middlefield – a double flop for West that will be tough to overturn:

Similar situation in Middlefield. The odds of making money on dry gas in what’s left of the Marcellus or the Utica in that location are rather poor – as the Gastem and Norse Energy test wells have indicated – a string of dry holes:

So the  Middlefield plaintiff has had to scramble to justify appealing against the town – as political gesture  for free enterprise – which is how the fund raisers have billed it – despite the fact that she’s a corporate welfare queen:

Tom West is also a lobbyist, and these appeals are political . .  which is why they are not so appealing to the towns that have to put up with his histrionics, or for the courts to take his showboating seriously. 

Chip Northrup









{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Irene Weiser March 30, 2012 at 1:46 pm

Chip – remember, filing a notice of appeal is not the same as filing an appeal. There’s absolutely no cost to West and nominal costs to Anschutz to file a notice of appeal – literally a one page document that says we plan to appeal. Once notice is given, they’ve got 60 days to file the actual brief. If they don’t file the actual appeal there’s no penalty for changing their mind. So we’ll see in 60 days whether this is for real or more bullying and bluster.


Michael Dineen March 30, 2012 at 2:08 pm

I think it’s all an exercise in delaying either a court decision or a failure to appeal — stretching out the period where there’s no finality to the outcome. This is useful to the fracking proponents as a cause for delay. Here in the Town of Ovid, for example, the Supervisor says he can’t make a decision as long as the Dryden/Middlefield cases are still “undecided”.


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