I have been to just about all local meetings related to the proposed BLM August 2012 oil and gas lease sale. I also did my own limited research by talking to western Colorado based geologists, BLM officials and representatives of the gas industry.
After digesting all the pros and cons of the issue I have one question: Where is the beef? Why didn't the BLM utilize the expertise of federal and state geological services by making their findings part of the original Resource Management Plan and its successor? Why does the BLM proceed with a bidding process, which is not based on scientific and factual evidence? If it had done so, most likely the entire process would not have materialized at all.
Experts tell me that the Mancos shale outcrops in the area between Paonia, Hotchkiss and Crawford and is partially eroded, thus letting gas drain into the atmosphere over a period of millions of years. No overlaying seals exist to trap any potential gas resources. I was also told that in over 50 percent of the privately owned land surface and mineral rights belong to the same owner. It would have been much easier for any energy company to talk to those people instead of trying to negotiate with the BLM. Dealing with the federal government is more complicated than negotiating with private owners. But this did not happen. Apparently there was no real interest.
Therefore, it is very likely that the widely spread parcels are leased for speculative purposes only. BLM should realize this fact and withdraw all parcels from the lease sale for lack of evidence so that North Fork Valley and its communities can return to a normal life without living under the umbrella of anxiety and uncertainty for many years to come.
Paoniablog comments powered by Disqus