Attempt by Colorado company to silence critics ends in big win for oil and gas activist

Denver7: An attempt by a major Colorado company to silence critics turned into a big win for anti-oil and gas activists and First Amendment rights.

Martin Marietta, a multi-billion-dollar company that supplies construction materials to oil and gas, slapped activists with subpoenas back in July.

The company demanded six well-known activists, including Cliff Willmeng, turn over all communication related to a protect against Anadarko in Erie last year.

“It wasn’t a win just for our clients or just for anti-fracking activists. It was a win for everyone. Everyone gets to speak freely on issues that are important to them,” said attorney Andy McNulty with Denver based law firm Killmer, Lane and Newman.

A district court judge recently ruled to quash most of the subpoena and said: “the court does find that the production of all records sought would have a chilling effect.”

“They were seeking every single communication among two groups that are central to organizing against them, East Boulder County United and Erie Protectors,” explained McNulty. “Basically, what they were looking for were documents, strategy, future protests, anything they could find that they could use to stifle free speech in the future.”

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