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Media Coverage: Bush Administration Proposal Opens Colorado Roadless Areas to New Drilling

July 23, 2008

A new report, "Leasing Colorado's Legacy: New Roadless Plan Opens Backcountry to Drilling," released today by the Pew Environment Group, finds that a proposed rule expected next week from the Bush administration would allow approximately 100 new oil and gas leases to be developed in Colorado national forests that are currently protected from drilling by federal rule.

The following is a roundup of the report's media coverage:

  • Forest plan full of holes, critics say
    The Denver Post, July 23, 2008

    Sportsmen's groups are pressuring Gov. Bill Ritter not to sign off on a soon-to-be-proposed rule regulating roadless areas in national forests... "This rule leaves Colorado with less protection on its national forest than any other state in the country," said Jane Danowitz, director for the Pew Charitable Trust public lands program.

  • Bush rule could increase gas drilling
    The Aspen Times, July 23, 2008

    A report released today by the Pew Environment Group said 17 leases in the Thompson Creek Inventoried Roadless Area could be made available for gas exploration and drilling. Currently, any activity on those leases is frozen by a court injunction.

  • Pew Environmental Group: Ritter’s forest plan allowed for gas leasing
    The Glenwood Post Indenpendent, July 23, 2008

    The Pew report suggests the amount of recoverable oil and gas from the new leases would be minuscule, citing a recent analysis of federal government data by The Wilderness Society. That organization said it found that economically recoverable gas in all of Colorado’s roadless areas could only meet total U.S. natural gas consumption for a total of 10 to 17 days. Economically recoverable oil in the state’s roadless areas would fuel less than 12 hours of total U.S. oil consumption.

  • 97 forest leases could go through despite Ritter plan
    The Daily Sentinel, July 22, 2008

    The plan drawn up by a task force dealing with drilling on roadless areas in national forests backfired, according to the Pew Environmental Trust. A loophole allows the possibility of drilling most of those leases on the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison national forests, according to the group.

  • Report: New Fed Loopholes Big Enough to Fit a Gas Rig Through
    Public News Service , July 23, 2008

    The Forest Service says the agency is responding to a request by Gov. Ritter. Representatives from Pew call it a case of "unintended consequences," and say they hope the governor will ask the federal government to suspend the process until the full impact can be studied.

  • Report Reveals Late Hour Push to Drill in Roadless Areas
    KUNC: NPR, July 23, 2008

    A new report says the Bush Administration is quietly moving forward with plans to open up roadless national forest lands to oil and gas drilling in Colorado.

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