Roan Plateau Review

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GRAND JUNCTION, COLO. (AP) _ The Ritter Administration is studying the economic impact of allowing drilling on the Roan Plateau but officials aren't saying whether that includes looking at the royalties the state could get from energy development.

In August, Governor Ritter won more time to study a plan to open some of the federal land on and around the Western Colorado Plateau to gas drilling. That period is set to end next month.

Spokesman Evan Dreyer says the administration is looking at some economic issues as part of the review but he won't comment in detail on exactly what studies Ritter has requested.

The possible windfall from drilling is disputed.

Drilling supporters say the state could get one billion dollars from leases and royalties shared with the federal government.

However, an analysis done by a petroleum accountant for environmental groups found that the state's share over 20 years would be 8.1 million dollars at most.

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