Now that Ritter has won his point, the Senate should remove the Udall- John Salazar amendment when the two chambers go to conference on the energy bill in September. A total ban on surface drilling would cripple efforts to tap the estimated 8.9 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in the plateau, which amount to 4 percent of the proven reserves in the United States.
If Ritter tries to insert such a surface drilling ban into the BLM plan, he would trigger a bruising political confrontation with the oil and gas industry, which pumped $22.9 billion into the state economy in 2005, according to the Colorado School of Mines. He'd also snub the expressed desires of local leaders in the three impacted counties (Rio Blanco, Garfield and Mesa), as well as the influential Western Slope promotional group Club 20 - all of whom have endorsed the BLM plan.
Thursday, August 9, 2007
Drilling Ban Is "Wrong"
The Denver Post says that the drilling ban that Mark Udall and John Salizar put in the (no new) energy bill is "wrong" and should be removed.