Grand Mesa Residents Discuss Possible Mineral Lease Sale With BLM

Western Colorado is on the verge of another energy boom. In 2005, energy resources, particularly natural gas, was a $10B business and accounted for five percent of nation's natural gas production.
Recently, oil and gas companies have begun showing interest in land parcels atop the Grand Mesa and on Tuesday night, Bureau of Land Management officials had an informational session with residents to tell them about the process and what could happen in the future.
The three parcels of land, which total around five thousand acres, were nominated by interested but undisclosed parties for mineral right leases. The leases are set to go through on Feb. 9.
The BLM explained to residents that any federal land parcel may be bid upon for lease and while a property owner may own their surface land, the federal government may still own the rights to the minerals beneath the surface.
Residents had a list of concerns, ranging from aesthetics to possible water contamination, however the BLM maintains the organization is following the law and national policy.
Residents also say that the notice of sale of mineral rights was not effectively posted and are submitting a protest to the offices of Senator Wayne Allard and Congressman Ken Salazar to try to halt the sale.