Hickenlooper aide gives assurance on drilling deal

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GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) An aide to Gov. John Hickenlooper says the governor doesn't want western Colorado to lose future revenue because of a proposal to settle lawsuits over drilling on the Roan Plateau.

The Glenwood Springs Post Independent reported Tuesday Hickenlooper's planning and budget director gave his assurances in a letter to Republican state Rep. Bob Rankin of Carbondale.

Under the settlement, Bill Barrett Corp. would give up some federal leases in pristine areas atop the plateau, and Barrett and others would be allowed to develop less controversial areas, some at the base of the plateau near existing wells.

Rankin has been working with Hickenlooper to keep the state from withholding future federal lease payments to local governments in order to refund about $28 million to Barrett as part of the deal.

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