Judge sends BLM back to drawing board to consider Roan Plateau drilling alternatives

A federal judge ruled Friday that a Bush-era auction of gas leases on the Roan Plateau failed to adequately address its environmental impacts or entertain alternative, less-intrusive drilling plans.

The Roan Plateau (Image via SaveRoanPlateau.org)

“Like many areas of Colorado, the area has been blessed with an abundance of two major resources, the uses of which are often in conflict,” U.S. District Judge Marcia Krieger wrote in her 38-page opinion (pdf). “Its surface offers extensive and largely unspoiled scenic, ecological, and wildlife virtues. Below the surface the … area contains significant and valuable oil and gas reserves.”

The Roan Plateau is one of the state’s most biologically rich locales, home to black bears, bald eagles, elk, mule deer, cutthroat trout, rare plants and more. In the final months of the Bush presidency, the BLM auctioned off natural gas leases on lower and upper sections of the plateau despite objections from small businesses, environmental groups and others who endorsed a community-based proposal that would have left much of the Roan undisturbed thanks to advances in horizontal drilling technology.

Krieger wrote that the BLM neglected to consider alternative plans, like the community-based proposal, or responsibly address air-quality issues and the potential impacts of ozone emissions.

The Roan Plateau contains enough natural gas to power 4 million homes for 20 years, according to the Colorado Oil & Gas Association. Back in the 1920s, parts of the Roan Plateau were set aside as Naval Petroleum and Oil Shale Reserves to be tapped in case of war or national emergency. The lands were first managed by the Department of Defense then, in the 1970s, the Department of Energy. Energy companies began developing natural gas in fields adjacent to the public parts of the plateau a decade later, which prompted the federal government to get in on the action. After drilling some wells on its own, the Department of Energy decided that leasing the land would be both profitable and preserve public access to the recreational, scenic, and biological resources that are on the Roan’s surface.

“Energy companies can recover most of the gas while still protecting the most sensitive parts of the plateau,” Earthjustice attorney Michael Freeman said in an interview Monday. “We hope and expect they’ll take a look at the community -based plan. It’s one of a number of much more balanced approaches to managing the Roan. The BLM shouldn’t just follow the drill-everywhere approach the last administration took. … We’re talking about some of Colorado’s best and most important public lands. We don’t think the Roan should just be turned into a drilling field.”

Like this story? Steal it! Feel free to republish it in part or in full, just please give credit to The Colorado Independent and add a link to the original.

Got a tip? Story pitch? Send us an e-mail. Follow The Colorado Independent on Twitter.

About the Author

Troy Hooper

Troy Hooper covers environmental policy for the American Independent News Network. His work has been published in The Denver Post, Rocky Mountain News, Huffington Post, San Francisco Weekly, Playboy, New York Post, People and dozens of other publications. Hooper has covered the Winter Olympics in Italy, an extreme ski camp in South America and gone behind the scenes with Hunter S. Thompson on election night in 2004. Born and raised in Boulder, Hooper has a bachelor's degree in English from the University of California at Santa Barbara.

1 Comment

  1. spyder jackets store on said:

    Dollhouse and the Appropriate Mood The mood of the room should be a designers motivation and no other, it is the mood that dictates color and furniture, and not the other way around. A mood is the purpose of the room, the reason that it exists. An example is that you would have a kitchen to eat, have conversation, relax, cook etc. Another example would be a bedroom, which is more personal, intimate, and is directly affected by the personality of the resident. Just as houses are dictated by mood, a great dollhouse should as well. Visualize what mood you would like to portray in your rooms, for what purposes would they have that room and what particular mood would they set. As you increase your miniaturist talent with your own dollhouses people will notice the particular moods, and even though they cant quite put there finger on it, they will be impressed. Styling by Era When you first started this adventure of making, building, or designing your dollhouse, did you know what style you wanted it to be When you are contemplating your dollhouse design, remember that you are not just picking a room at a time, but the time frame or era in which they were created. This will be your style choice or theme for your house. When you get right down to it, you might have your choice set out for you as there are really only three major era styles in dollhouse furniture. Victorian is the first major theme, it is recognized by the embellishments in furniture through long curved lines, elaborate fabric, and old fashioned pieces. If you want to stand out or go with a more up to date style, Modern design will give you simplicity, technology, and some great straight lined pieces. The last is the traditional or classical style which will give you a standard look Nothing to fancy or distinct of any era, but useful in filling your dollhouse. Lights and Miniatures: The Awe Factor You know when you are really serious about this hobby when you start looking at lighting. This is the point when you have moved from setting up a miniature house for your kids to expanding this hobby into something more. Lighting your kit can be a fun yet challenging time. And why shouldnt that challenge encourage us to try Lighting is as simple as a wire connection and a onoff switch. And to add upon that there are great step by step instructions that come with most kits to help you along the way. As will all aspects of this game, things will get easier with time. We recommend getting a small electrical kit to start, they are simple to set up and get started with. Remember whether you think you can or whether you think you cant you are right. Designing the Outside of Your Dollhouse Kit When you have completed your dollhouse you will want people to admire the outside of your dollhouse just as much as they do the inside. You will want to focus on the most eye attracting points first: The paint and the shingles. Three coats of high quality paint, recommended for dollhouses, is the minimum for dollhouse display. Make sure that you draw lines prior to applying shingles to preserve a straight look, most instruction booklets will provide the required measurements. Bird houses, dog houses, gazebos, and more are other ways to spruce up your exterior. You can even have some small flower pots to place in the window seals. And let us not forget the biggest advantage to designing the outside: the lights. Lights on exterior are commonly found on the porch, but you can place them pretty much wherever you would like to.
    spyder jackets store http://www.sobheamol.com/

Leave a Response

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>