Denver (AP) - A change in ownership of energy leases on the Roan Plateau has dimmed hopes for a settlement in a lawsuit over plans to increase natural gas drilling on the western Colorado landmark.
Attorney Jim Angell, representing environmental groups in the lawsuit, says the new leaseholder's position in the negotiations doesn't give him hope that a settlement can be reached.
Denver-based Bill Barrett Corp. recently paid $60 million for leases held by vantage energy. The leases include public land deemed important wildlife habitat.
Federal officials and the company didn't immediately return requests for comment.
Ten groups are challenging plans for energy development on the Roan Plateau, which is prized for its oil and gas as well as wildlife and pristine backcountry.
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