Delta County Commissioners voted unanimously to sign an Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Gunnison Energy on February 6th.


Concerned citizens packed the Commissioners meeting seeking answers to why the County was entering into this MOU to support Gunnison Energy in renominating/releasing an expired lease. In exchange for the County sending a letter of support to the BLM on behalf of Gunnison Energy, Gunnison Energy commits to developing the lease, should it be awarded, pursuant to horizontal drilling and no surface occupancy.


Questions included:


  • Who is responsible for damages to my farm, irrigation water, and irrigation infrastructure should there be a spill or earthquake?
  • Who is responsible to damaged crops from contaminated or brine water?
  • Why is the County entering into this MOU?
  • Why wasn’t the community consulted?
  • Who drafted the MOU?
  • And more…


The Commissioners explained that they entered into this process at Gunnison Energy’s request, and believe that the community would be pleased with the County negotiating no surface occupancy stipulations on development should the lease be awarded.
The lease in question expired on May 31, 2015, and for Gunnison Energy to renominate or release the parcel, it will have to go through BLM’s normal nomination and leasing process.


We had hoped for a different outcome; one in which the Commissioners would have, at a minimum, tabled the vote on the MOU to consider the concerns expressed. Instead they moved forward with the vote and dismissed public input. Thank you to everyone who sent letters, made phone calls, and showed up at the Commissioners’ meeting to voice your opinion.
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