…so you won’t be able to see this.

BILL KOCH is building a 420-acre town on what had been a large meadow in the basin of the spectacular Ragged Mountains.

The town is permitted to have 50 buildings, 120,000 gallons of underground water storage, and – it is said – an operating railroad train. Continue reading


Judge Matsch decision on Gunnison Energy and SG Interests

Matsch decision, Dec. 12, 2012

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April 27, 2013

Dear Friend,

In fall 2012, 72 of us wrote letters protesting a Department of Justice settlement of BLM gas lease bid rigging between Gunnison Energy and SG Interests that took place in 2005. Most of us felt the proposed $550,000 settlement, without admission of guilt, was a slap on the wrist. In addition, the two companies were allowed to keep the four leases, simply paying in fines what the DoJ estimated they would have paid had they competed in the gas lease sale auction.

Some of us also felt that the settlement was unsupportable given the two-year jail sentence BLM bidder Tim DeChristopher was sentenced to because he entered false bids in a Utah BLM auction.

To my amazement, anyway, someone got the message we sent. Senior Federal District Court Judge Richard Matsch on Dec. 12, 2012, threw out the proposed settlement and harshly criticized President Obama’s DoJ and the two gas companies. Continue reading

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Powerful natural gas companies agree to a larger antitrust fine

by Tim Mutrie,  Special to the Aspen Daily News

Monday, April 22, 2013
CARBONDALE — Gunnison Energy and SG Interests, the two natural gas companies implicated in a 2005 collusion scheme to buy federal leases near McClure Pass on the cheap, have agreed to pay damages of $1 million in a new settlement deal with the Justice Department.
Read article at aspendailynews.com  website
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Who’s the bad neighbor now?

by Ed Marston    Delta County Independent

Thursday, 01 March 2012

Dear Editor,

On Nov. 22, 2011, DCI publisher Randy Sunderland wrote an editorial titled “Good Neighbors,” in which he said I was being a bad neighbor to Bill Koch by opposing his land exchange. According to Sunderland, “Marston railed…” against the exchange, the opposition “reached into their bag of tricks,” and so on.

Meanwhile, the good neighbor, Bill Koch, was working “hard to make this a win-win situation.”

I am writing to ask Randy Sunderland if he wants to revisit his editorial.

First, the idea of Bill Koch and Ed Marston as neighbors is not true. While Mr. Koch can walk up to my house and ring the bell, and get invited in, any day, if I approached his house, I’d probably be arrested for trespass. It is one-way neighboring. Continue reading

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Land swap opponent questions mayor’s decision

by Karen Fogg    Delta County Independent

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Dear Editor:

Many people who live in the Paonia area are upset that Mayor Schwieterman voted not to write a letter opposing the Koch land swap. The letter was to be sent to our U.S. representatives and to the governor of Colorado.

Two trustees voted against the letter and two trustees voted for the letter of opposition. The mayor had to vote to break the tie. Lucien Pevec, a Paonia town trustee, was off hut skiing when the vote took place. Had he cared enough for the wishes of the majority of the town citizens, he certainly would have attended the council meeting and voted to have the letter of opposition written. He was not there and obviously did not care.

Read article at DCI website

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Land swap, potential drilling cause for uproar

by Gary Harmon    The Daily Sentinel

Friday, March 2, 2012

The isolation of the North Fork Valley is under assault as residents pick sides on the issue of how the stretch of barren adobe, rolling hills of piñon and stark, rocky peaks will be treated.

Two main issues have roiled the solitude of the valley: the battle over expansion of Bear Ranch and a looming fight over drilling on 30,000 acres in the Paonia-Hotchkiss area.

Bear Ranch, owned by billionaire William Koch, whose Oxbow Resources owns the nearby Elk Creek Mine, has been a battleground for three years now.

Now a battle is set over whether the federal government should auction off the oil and gas leases in the valley in August.

Read article at GJ Daily Sentinel website

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Federal antitrust lawsuit settled

by Hank Lohmeyer    Delta County Independent

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

(The story below does not mention the fact that one or more of the gas leases underlie parts of the Bear Ranch and of the BLM land that the Bear Ranch wishes to privatize).

According to the United States Department of Justice (DoJ), Gunnison Energy Corporation (GEC) and SG Interests of Houston have agreed to pay a total of $550,000 to settle a federal antitrust lawsuit.Under terms of the agreement, each of the companies will pay $275,000 without admitting to any wrongdoing.

Brad Robinson, president of GEC, said the settlement will enable the company to avoid even more expense in legal fees defending itself.

Read article at DCI website

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US Department of Justice’s charges against Gunnison Energy Co. and SGI

Case 1:12-cv-00395-RPM Document 1 Filed 02/15/12 USDC Colorado


Civil Action No. ____________

U.S. Department of Justice
Antitrust Division
450 5th Street, NW
Suite 8000
Washington, DC 20530
2 Houston Center
909 Fannin, Suite 2600
Houston, TX 77010
1801 Broadway, Suite 1200
Denver, CO 80202

The United States of America, acting under the direction of the Attorney General of the
United States, brings this civil antitrust action under Section 4 of the Sherman Act, as amended,
15 U.S.C. § 4, and Section 4A of the Clayton Act, as amended, 15 U.S.C. § 15a, to obtain
equitable and legal remedies against Defendants Gunnison Energy Corporation (“GEC”), and SG
Interests I, Ltd. and SG Interests VII, Ltd. (collectively, “SGI”) for their violation of Section 1 of
Case 1:12-cv-00395-RPM Document 1 Filed 02/15/12 USDC Colorado Page 1 of 9 Continue reading

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The Federal Register notice about the legal action against Gunnison Energy Co. and SGI.

Federal Register /Vol. 77, No. 36 /Thursday, February 23, 2012 /  Notices 10775
1 For purposes of this Complaint, we define the
Ragged Mountain Area as covering roughly a region
encompassed by the Townships 10S through 12S
and Ranges 89W through 91W, as designated by the
Public Land Survey System, comprising portions of
Delta, Gunnison, Mesa and Pitkin Counties.
under CERCLA section 107(a) as well as
damages for injury to, destruction of, or
loss of natural resources related to the
Sulphur Bank Site and the costs of any
natural resource damage assessments
under CERCLA section 107(a)(4)(c). Continue reading

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Good neighbors

by Randy Sunderland    Delta County Independent

Wednesday, 02 Nov. 2011

Robert Frost, in his poem, “Mending Walls,” artfully shaped the question of good neighbors. In Delta County, the debate is less peaceful.

The central characters are Bill Koch and Ed Marston, with plenty of other neighbors weighing in.

Marston left the crowded and well developed East years ago to build a career around writing and championing the value of the wide-open spaces and abundant public lands of the West.

Koch’s corporate holdings include energy companies such as Oxbow Mining and Gunnison Energy, along with Bear Ranch near Paonia Reservoir in Gunnison County.

The two now find themselves neighbors.

Read article at DCI website

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