Feds seek more time in Roan Plateau lawsuit
DENVER ” Federal officials want more time to submit briefs in a lawsuit over drilling on Colorado’s Roan Plateau to give the new administration a chance to review the case and explore the basis for a settlement.
Federal officials said in a brief filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Denver that extending the deadlines would give Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, confirmed in January, time to review the issues and “his stated intention” to explore an out-of-court settlement.
Environmental groups are suing the federal government to block drilling on top of the Roan Plateau in western Colorado. As a Colorado senator, Salazar urged the Bureau of Land Management to adopt Gov. Bill Ritter’s proposal to issue oil and gas leases on federal land in phases over several years rather than all at once.
The BLM auctioned off all the available parcels for a total of $114 million last summer. It was the agency’s highest-grossing sale of onshore leases in the lower 48 states.
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