Thursday, November 15, 2012

Colorado ranchers, sportsmen propose buy back of oil-lease land

Colorado ranchers and sportsmen have hatched a novel plan to protect 220,000 acres of high-country public land from oil and gas drilling: Buy back the leases from energy companies. The opening offer — $2.5 million, or $2 per acre, the amount the companies paid for the leases when they were auctioned by the Bureau of Land Management nearly a decade ago — was rejected as too low. But the Thompson Divide Coalition says it can raise as much as $50 million to buy nonproducing leases and protect an area spanning five counties south of Glenwood Springs that supports the region's robust tourism and agricultural economies. Theirs is a free-market alternative to complex litigation and the confrontational battle now being waged by Front Range anti-fracking activists...more

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