Colorado BLM backs Thompson Divide lease decision

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GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) The U.S. Bureau of Land Management is upholding its decision to extend the leases for 25 oil and gas wells in the Thompson Divide while it studies the environmental impacts of drilling there.

The state BLM office announced the decision Monday, backing a ruling from its area field office in March.

Pitkin County commissioners, the Carbondale town board and the Glenwood Springs City Council oppose extending the leases and will likely appeal to the U.S. Interior Board of Land Appeals in Washington.

Assistant Pitkin County attorney Chris Selden told the Glenwood Springs Post-Independent that he thinks opponents will have a greater chance of convincing the board that the leases should have been allowed to expire. Pitkin County, Carbondale and Glenwood Springs leaders must vote on whether to pursue an appeal.

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