Mesa County groups oppose BLM
It was over four years ago that the federal government first prepared an environmental impact statement on the commercial development of oil shale and tar sands in Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming.
After changes in administration and a lawsuit later, a new impact statement is in the works.
Several Mesa County organizations, however, aren't happy with it.
At a meeting local groups who support oil shale development said they're voices aren't being heard.
They say a new draft plan by the BLM is almost the opposite of what they were hoping for.
"With the preferred alternative that the BLM announced it would take 90% of the potential available acreage off the table in the state of Colorado. It would remove it from potential development," Brad McCloud, with Environmentally Conscious Consumers for Oil Shale, said.
"If you can't do anything with those lands in those areas, if they're locked up for nothing, and you can’t use the, then we're pretty much stuck," Mesa County Commissioner Craig Meis said.
Mesa County commissioners and the chamber of commerce say this controversial issue is one of the biggest road blocks for the area's economic development.
What these organizations don't want is to have to go through this process a third time.
They hope this time the BLM listens to and responds to their concerns.
BLM officials anticipate having a decision made on a final plan before the year is over.
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