The Range Resources countersuit stinks to high heavens.
First, Elizabeth Ames Jones should have recused herself from ruling on the Lipsky case because she has a conflict of interest that is much bigger than her normal conflict of being a paid protector of industry.
Venus Exploration, Inc.
Mr. E. L. Ames,
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Age: 77
Mr. John Y. Ames,
Consultant and Director, Age: 55
Will Jones IV,
Board Member and Husband to Elizabeth Ames Jones
Board Member and Range Resources CEO
If that’s not a conflict of interest, Dear Readers, it’s sure missing a good chance.
Let’s call the Range Resource countersuit exactly what it is: It’s an attempt to intimidate Gas Patch victims and silence them by saying, “Don’t you dare sue the Big Gas Mafia or it will cost you plenty.”
If I didn’t know that SLAPP suits are now illegal in Texas, I would call this a SLAPP suit.
The Weatherford Democrat published an article about the suit and it has an extended statement from the Lipsky’s attorney.
July 25, 2011
Gas company countersues for $3 million
You can follow that link to read the counterclaim. Here is the response in it’s entirety. Emphasis by me.
“There are no misleading test results,” the Lipskys’ attorney Allen Stewart said. “There was no conspiracy. This just proves people can say anything in a lawsuit.”
“Let’s be clear that there is gas in the Lipsky’s water,” Stewart said, adding there is so much gas that the well no longer pumps water.
“His water is flammable,” Stewart said.
Range Resources obtained a picture through discovery that shows water coming from a pipe with flames on top of it, according to Stewart.
Stewart described Range’s answer in the counterclaim as elaborate, somewhat delusional, desperate and sad.
“It looks to me like it was written for the press and not for the court,” Stewart said.
“Their theory is that the Lipskys have fooled the federal government,” Stewart said.
Range Resources is desperate in acting like the Lipskys are grand conspirators, he said.
Stewart said the couple did get their property taxes lowered because they don’t have an active water well.
“That would lower anyone’s taxes and should,” Stewart said. “The Lipskys are the people who have been harmed.”
Stewart said they don’t dispute that fact that two other people in the area hit a methane pocket when their water wells were drilled.
The gas in those wells, however, dissipated over time, according to Stewart.
The Lipskys’ water well situation is different, he said.
Range is trying to act like everybody in the area has gas in their water, Stewart said.
“That’s not the truth,” Stewart said.
Stewart said Range Resources is very politically powerful and can get things done in Austin that regular people can’t.
“I look forward to proving that Range is a bully and that their counterclaim is simply that, an effort to bully the Lipskys into not talking,” Stewart said.
Rich told the Democrat Friday afternoon she expected to soon release a response.
And why is it that Range Resources is “very politically powerful” in Austin? Because the chairman of the state regulatory agency that absolved Range Resources from all blame benefits financially from associations with Range Resources.