Governor Makes Right Call In Supporting Natural Gas Development On Top
Of Roan Plateau, Says Americans For American Energy
GOLDEN, Co. (Dec. 20, 2007) – 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 Colorado.
“Governor Ritter 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.
“Governor Ritter 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
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 here.
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
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
Schnacke noted that the oil and gas industry contributes some $23
billion to Colorado each year.