State

Mar 22, 2013 4:40 PM by Juice Godfrey

Communities ask BLM to let drilling leases expire

CARBONDALE, Colo. (AP) - Communities in western Colorado are asking the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to allow oil and gas leases in the Thompson Divide expire.

In a letter sent on March 19 to Neil Kornze, acting director of the BLM, the Carbondale Board of Trustees reinforced arguments by various environmental organizations and local governments trying to keep gas-drilling rigs out of the scenic area.

According to the Glenwood Springs Post Independent, industry representatives maintain that they have the right to drill on leases they legally hold, and that they are following rules set down by the federal government.

The Thompson Divide area covers 220,000 acres of mostly federal land in Pitkin, Garfield, Gunnison, Mesa and Delta counties. There are 61 current leases in the area covering approximately 100,000 acres.

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