Roan Plateau’s Last Chance?

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketCongressmen Mark Udall and John Salazar plan to introduce their amendment to halt leasing on the Roan Plateau for a year either on Tuesday or Wednesday on the House floor. Their amendment will be heard during the debate of H.R. 2643, the 2008 Interior and the Environment Appropriations bill. Their proposal would prevent the U.S. Interior Department and the Bureau of Land Management from using funds to lease oil and gas lands on the Roan Plateau.

The Roan Plateau, a unique natural area just west of Rifle, has been in the middle of a tug of war between the BLM and energy companies against public opinion, local governments, Gov. Ritter and legislators. Opponents of drilling atop the Roan argue that the BLM should wait until directional drilling technology improves.

The Udall/Salazar amendment reads:

SEC. 601.
No funds made available by this Act may be used to open to oil and gas leasing any lands in Colorado that were formerly designated as Naval Oil Shale Reserves and that were not open to such leasing on May 15, 2007, and that are located within the rim boundary, as such boundary is depicted on Map 1 accompanying the Bureau of Land Management’s final Resource Management Plan Amendment and Environmental Impact Statement for the Roan Plateau Planning Area dated August, 2006.

The proceedings will be telecast on CSPAN.

For more information about the Roan Plateau, refer to previous Colorado Confidential stories:

Roan Plateau treasures

Congressmen seeking Roan Plateau protection

BLM releases Roan Plateau plan