28 May Take Action on Industry Lease Exchange
May 28, 2015 –
Don’t let the drilling industry’s DC lobbyists call the shots on the proposed Thompson Divide – North Fork Valley lease swap.
You’ve no-doubt heard by now about Texas-based oil and gas driller SG Interests’ proposed lease swap. SG has proposed to give up its leases in the Thompson Divide in exchange for acquiring new ones in the headwaters of the North Fork of the Gunnison watershed. We’re working together with our friends on the other side of McClure Pass to give you and update and ask for your help.
SG’s lawyers and lobbyists presented this proposal to our Congressional delegation and are collecting letters supporting the idea in concept from Boards of County Commissioners in the affected counties.
But they haven’t asked what you think.
Please send an email to Sen. Bennet, Sen. Gardner, and Rep. Tipton asking for their help in bringing balance to energy development and conservation on the Western Slope and protecting important public lands on both sides of McClure Pass. We’ve pre-written an email for you to send and you can customize it to share your specific thoughts and concerns.
In Colorado today, there are more than 53,000 active oil and gas wells and 3.7 million acres of existing oil and gas leases on public lands. Garfield County is home to the state’s second highest concentration of producing wells (nearly 11,000!) and more than 80,000 acres of leases are already issued in the upper-North Fork Valley. It’s clear that our part of Colorado is doing its part to produce energy for the country.
While the oil and gas industry continues to push for new leases and new drilling permits, communities on both sides of McClure Pass are on the record asking for permanent protection from oil and gas development on public lands that are important to our agriculture and recreation based economies.
The legislation for the lease swap could achieve this goal of permanent protection if it includes a mineral withdrawal, but so far that hasn’t been part of the conversation. Thankfully, both Delta and Gunnison Counties have recognized the importance of including ALL interested parties in finding a path forward.
That’s where you come in.
Click here to email our Congressional delegation now and ask them to work with communities from the Roaring Fork to the North Fork to obtain meaningful, long-term protection for our cherished public lands.
SG has put a lot of time and energy into pushing this lease exchange. We need you to as well. Please send an email to our Congressional delegation today and share this alert with your neighbors and friends. Our elected officials need to hear from you-their constituents-not just the drilling industry’s lobbyists in DC.
Jim Ramey, Executive Director Sloan Shoemaker, Executive Director
Citizens for a Healthy Community Wilderness Workshop