CO BLM says that coal leasing will be impacted if oil and gas leases are withdrawn

“What many people don’t realize is that if the federal government were to cut the parcels to zero, it would also affect all minerals (rights) in the North Fork Valley,” said Shannon Borders, public affairs specialist for the BLM’s Uncompahgre Field Office.

This includes coal development, which has existed in the area since the early 1900s and is a major economic driver for the Western Slope. – Montrose Daily Press, 1/24/13

  • The implication here is that if oil and gas parcels in the North Fork Valley are withdrawn, that somehow coal leasing will also be affected. But that’s not true. According to BLM’s own website, coal leasing is managed through a process entirely separate from oil and gas leasing.

CO BLM Director Hankins points to ‘recently completed’ environmental analysis

In reference to the parcels that North Fork Valley residents have requested be withdrawn from the February 2013 oil and gas lease sale, because BLM based its decision on an outdated resource management plan from the 1980s, [Director] Hankins responded that her office ‘recently completed’ an environmental assessment.

  • What Hankins didn’t say about their new analysis is that it is based on data from the outdated plan. BLM’s final environmental assessment for the February 2013 oil and gas lease sale in the Uncompahgre Field Office explicitly states that it is based on data from the 1989 resource management plan (see page 19).