New Roan Plateau Legislation Asking for Protection and More Money

A natural gas drilling site sits against the mountains near the small northwest Colorado community of Meeker in this photograph taken on Friday, Oct. 26, 2007. A new report predicts that northwest Colorado's population could double to about 417,000 over the next 30 years because of the energy boom and the number of gas wells could soar to more than 50,000. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Three Colorado lawmakers say the state is not getting a fair share of profits from oil and gas drilling on the Roan Plateau. They also say the federal government is not doing enough to help protect environmentally sensitive parts of the area.

Today U.S. Representatives Mark Udall and John Salazar are teaming up with U.S. Senator Ken Salazar to introduce federal legislation.

They're asking for a reversal of an earlier federal deal that cut Colorado's oil and gas lease revenues from 50 to 48 percent, an additional 16,000 acre protection area, and more money for the cleanup of the Anvil Points Superfund site.

Senator Salazar says he's determined to pass the bill because it's vital for Colorado's future.

"I will keep working hard so that Colorado gets the most out of its oil and gas leasing revenues and we do right by the people of the Western Slope and protect the wildlife and pristine habitat that exists on the Roan," said Salazar by satellite interview.

Supporters of the legislation say the B.L.M. has ignored a similar proposal by Governor Ritter because his recommendations were never signed into law.

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