Monday, August 13, 2012

Uintah County says controversial shale meeting invalid

Admitting to the improper posting of a public notice, Uintah County Commission has settled the suit over a closed door oil shale meeting held on March 27.

The reversal came as the commission resolved to “rescind and vacate all matters discussed in the meeting and the resulting resolution.”

It ends a lawsuit filed by retired attorney Sandy Hansen, who asked the courts to declare the closed-door session as an “invalid violation of the Utah Open and Public Meetings Act.”

County officials overturned the discussion and resolution upon learning the public posting did not comply with the law.

For their part, county officials say its the federal government who has violated the law in failing to respect the states and counties as cooperators in crafting new public lands policy.

They cite the Obama administration’s reduction from 2 million oil shale acres of leasable public land to 461,965 acres in the three western states for oil shale.

Saying the concerns express about impact to water and air is misplaced as the current PEIS “is simply a land allocation document, it puts the cart before the horse,” said Mike McKee, commissioner. 

An environmental impact statement for oil shale application will be prepared after the PEIS is finalized. Vernal Express