NEWS

GAS ROYALTIES MAY BE RETURNED TO WESTERN SLOPE

Grand Junction / Washington, D.C.—Millions of dollars in gas royalties will be coming back to Western Colorado if Colorado Senators Michael Bennet and Cory Gardner get their way. Colorado's U.S. Senators may be on opposite sides of the aisle, but they're on the same page over this issue. Gardner and Bennet introduced a provision into a defense authorization bill that would require the federal government to return money that was originally held to pay for the Anvil Points oil shale research site cleanup near Rifle. Once the cleanup was done though, close to 80 million dollars in royalties from gas leasing on the property was left over. Bennet and Gardner say that money belongs to Colorado. To get it returned, the Senators added a provision to the 602 billion dollar National Defense Authorization Act.

TIPTON WATER RIGHTS BILL PASSES HOUSE

Washington, D.C.—Colorado's ski industry is breathing a sigh of relief today. Congressman Scott Tipton's Water Rights Protection Act was passed by the House late last night. The 3rd District Congressman has been fighting for this bill for years to prevent the federal government from interfering with private water rights.

SAGE GROUSE LAWSUIT

Grand Junction—The lawsuit recently filed against the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service over land use plan amendments dealing with the Greater Sage Grouse is moving forward. Bret Sumner, the lead attorney for the Western Energy Alliance says the federal land use process cannot be used as a substitute for complying with the Administrative Procedures Act. He says another issue regarding the Greater Sage Grouse land use plan amendments is the arbitrary and inconsistent treatment of public land users and developers. So far, there's been no official response to the lawsuit from the Interior Department.

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