Tuesday, April 8

Roan Plateau still waiting for legislation

This past weekend, Congressman -- and Senate candidate -- Mark Udall said the Roan Plateau should remain off-limits from gas drilling despite the Bush administration's plans. Udall, along with Senator Ken Salazar and Representative John Salazar, plans to introduce legislation that would basically mandate protection for the plateau. Details are still scarce, but they need to bring a bill soon to keep the Roan from getting covered with well pads like the surrounding area already is.

I wrote a column a few weeks back about how legislation for the Roan could be more far-reaching in terms of protection than previous compromises from Governor Bill Ritter. Udall's comments, printed in the Grand Junction Sentinel, seem supportive toward a stricter level of management and a slower pace for development:

"We can afford to wait,” said Udall, who flew over the Roan during his visit to Grand Junction.

Given the thousands of acres that the Bureau of Land Management has leased to energy companies, there should be no rush for the federal government to parcel out the federal lands atop the Roan for drilling, he said.

The five-term congressman and U.S. Senate candidate said he hopes Congress will agree with him, U.S. Rep. John Salazar, D-Colo., and Sen. Ken Salazar, D-Colo., to adopt a plan to require the BLM to incrementally lease the Roan.

“If we protect the Roan today, the gas is not going anywhere,” Udall said.

I am waiting to hear from Udall and Senator Salazar's offices for more details.

The Sentinel also quotes Dick Wadhams, Bob Schaffer's campaign chief, trying to portray Udall as flip-flopping his position on the Roan. The claim, which I also covered in the column, is pretty ridiculous, especially considering Schaffer and Wadhams didn't speak up for the Roan until the feds released their final decision to move forward with drilling.

1 comment:

bethany said...

Go, Mark, go! Finally someone stepping up to the plate. Josh, your column was fantastic. Thanks for calling out Bob Schaffer on his transparent and tardy stabs at appearing green.