Community outrage stopped plans to drill for oil under the old Rocky Flats nuclear weapons plant site, under Standley Lake, under the Westminster dog park and near the Superior Water Tank.
The oil and gas company that withdrew all those plans stumbled headlong into a completely predictable public relations disaster. The U.K. company that was the target of all the community uproar is called Highlands Natural Resources. While the company may be registered overseas, its CEO is from Colorado.
Their CEO, Robert Price, painted a pretty picture for shareholders for the project called "West Denver" in a July 24 conference call. He made no mention of the likely community outrage at his company's asks.
Highlands Natural Resources' only other project in Colorado are two wells in Arapahoe County. The company hoped to construct as many as 104 wells in Jefferson and Boulder counties. Those applications stalled when faced with one united community after another.
Superior Mayor Clint Folsom said town residents showed up in force at a Monday meeting to discuss the applications. "We had enormous turnout tonight at the meeting and everyone was in opposition," he explained.
At first, Highlands pulled some of their permits and spun it to shareholders earlier this week as a kind of hiccup.
"Our West Denver Project covers over 5,200 acres and the minor amendment to our plans around Standley Lake is expected to have no bearing on the project’s overall economic viability,” the Nov. 12 release said.
But by the week's end, Highlands had been run out of every town where it planned to drill for its West Denver project.
A spokesperson for the company said the West Denver project was being abandoned - for good - with no plans to return. On Thursday, 9NEWS asked why Price would try to drill under such well known and sensitive areas. The spokesperson said he didn't immediately have an answer.
Shares of Highlands Natural Resources hit a 52-week low on the London Stock Exchange on Friday. Concerned investors griped on online message boards.
One investor expressed frustration Highlands tried to drill under an “old plutonium site.”
“What a balls up,” the investor wrote.
Balls up is British slang for a complete disaster.