'We believe that a "practical timeframe" has long passed'

Marc W. Smith, executive director of the Independent Petroleum Association of Mountain States in Denver, in an Aug. 13 statement as the US Bureau of Land Management prepared to proceed the following day with a lease sale of Naval Oil Shale Reserves 1 and 3 on the Roan Plateau in western Colorado.

Marc W. Smith, executive director of the Independent Petroleum Association of Mountain States in Denver, in an Aug. 13 statement as the US Bureau of Land Management prepared to proceed the following day with a lease sale of Naval Oil Shale Reserves 1 and 3 on the Roan Plateau in western Colorado:

"In 1997, Congress directed the BLM to lease these lands for energy development 'as soon as practical.' We believe that a 'practical' timeframe has long passed and that now is the time to allow responsible energy development on these lands.

"The Naval Oil Shale Reserves are estimated to hold at least 9 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, or enough energy to serve 3.6 million households for the next 20 years. Tapping this vast supply of clean, domestic energy is good news for American families who are beginning to question the government's resolve in meeting our nation's energy needs.

"The BLM's plan to develop clean-burning natural gas on the NOSRs in the Roan Plateau management area is the most environmentally restrictive plan for managing oil and natural gas development on public lands.

"The plan resulted from a nearly decade-long open and public process in which all stakeholders including community groups, environmental groups, local governments, Colorado's congressional delegation, the Colorado Division of Wildlife, Colorado Department of Natural Resources, Colorado Geological Survey, the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, US Fish and Wildlife Service and other federal and state agencies were given a seat at the table.

"Our energy future starts today and it's time government provides the American people with the energy they own and have a right to."

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com

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