Saturday, 5 January, 2008 7:20 PM
Gov. Ritter Praised For Supporting Harvest
Of Clean-Burning Natural Gas On Top Of Roan Plateau
Makes Right Call In Supporting Natural Gas Development On Top Of
Roan Plateau, Says Americans For American Energy
-- Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter announced today that he supports harvesting
clean-burning natural gas in the U.S. Naval Oil Shale Reserve lands
on top of the Roan Plateau. Greg Schnacke, President and CEO of
Americans Energy, said the Governor made the right decision for
made the right decision today in saying that he supports environmentally
sound harvest of clean-burning natural gas in the U.S. Naval Oil
Shale Reserve lands on top of the Roan Plateau," Schnacke said.
"That's a welcome departure from the highly inflammatory and
negative statements made by other Colorado politicians on this subject."
"The Governor is
signaling that he understands that Colorado, and America, needs
to increase our ability to produce American energy and reduce our
dependence on foreign energy through environmentally sound projects
like this one," Schnacke said.
also clearly understands that the State stands to realize billions
of dollars of revenue from oil and gas bonus bids and royalties
on this project," Schnacke added. "Half of that money
will make its way to Colorado's education system."
Schnacke said: "Anti-drilling
extremists have been lobbying to block virtually any natural gas
harvest in the NOSR lands on the top of the Roan," Schnacke
said. "The Governor appears to be rejecting that path. I think
he recognizes the value of the stakeholder process that helped to
produce this plan, which itself took seven years to complete."
"Colorado is a winner
today, and the anti-drilling extremists are losers, which is a good
outcome for our state and for the nation," he added.
Ritter made his comments
at a news conference at the State Capitol. He said he has “engaged
in productive discussions” with the U.S. Department of the
Interior about the development of the NOSR, a small area on the
Roan Plateau in western Colorado, and said he has several objectives
he wants to achieve during continuing conservations with the federal
agency. The Governor's official statement can be seen by clicking
It appears that the Governor
is asking BLM to reconsider its current restriction of allowing
only one operator at a time to work on top of the plateau, which
may result in a higher level of competitive interest in the project.
Industry estimates say the area contains enough natural gas to heat
4 million homes for the next quarter century.
Recent polls and surveys
show wide support among Coloradoans for the project. A Denver Business
Journal reader survey this past week showed 73 percent of respondents
were in favor of moving forward with the BLM management plan to
harvest the NOSR’s natural gas, with 27 percent opposed.
A statewide voter opinion
poll, conducted by Hill Research Consultants in August, showed 60
percent of respondents approved of developing the NOSR in order
to reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil imports, with 31 percent
opposed and 9 percent unsure.
In addition, 66 percent
of respondents to the HRC poll said they would be “more likely”
to support development of the area if tax revenues from the project
were used to fund higher education in Colorado.
The state’s three
largest newspapers also have expressed support for the project,
with The Denver Post and the Colorado Springs Gazette saying in
the past two weeks that the project should move forward. A recent
report in the Rocky Mountain News also detailed the revenues that
Colorado could gain from ongoing and future oil and gas development.
Schnacke noted that the
oil and gas industry contributes some $23 billion to Colorado each
For American Energy