Drilling for Oil on Roan Plateau

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DENVER (AP) _ Gov. Bill Ritter says he remains opposed to the
Federal Government's plan to issue gas drilling leases for Western
Colorado's Roan Plateau.

The plan includes roughly 34,000 acres on the top of the plateau, an area considered particularly sensitive by some because of the wildlife habitat.

The bureau of land management, which will offer the leases in an Aug. 14 auction, has said that efforts by Ritter and others to modify its plan for the Roan won't stop the sale. Ritter says the way the sale is structured will deprive the state of revenue. He says some areas won't be drilled for up to 40 years and should be auctioned one at a time.

The B.L.M. estimates the plateau contains 9 trillion cubic feet of recoverable natural gas.