May 5, 2008

San Luis Valley Oil and Gas Leases Yanked

144,000 acres of the northern San Luis Valley of Colorado have been withdrawn from an upcoming oil and gas lease auction, a big win for wildlife, for the climate, and for the folks living the San Luis Valley.

The Bureau of Land Management had originally proposed to lease an unprecedented amount of lands in the Rio Grande National Forest and near Crestone, Colorado, at the foot of the Sangre de Cristo range.  Once the leases were sold, oil and gas drillers would have the right to drill these sensitive lands. 

In April, Rocky Mountain Clean Air Action, the Western Environmental Law Center, the San Luis Valley Ecosystems Council, and many other groups officially protested the lease auction.  Local governments, including Rio Grande County, Saguache County, the town of Del Norte, joined in protesting.

At the heels of the protests, both Senator Ken Salazar and Representative John Salazar jointly called on the Bureau of Land Management calling on them to withdraw the San Luis Valley oil and gas leases.

It's a big win to be sure, and hopefully the San Luis Valley will stay safe from oil and gas drilling.

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