GLENWOOD SPRINGS (AP) – Federal land managers are moving toward a compromise between conservationists and energy officials about oil and gas leases in the Thompson Divide. The Bureau of Land Management’s new preferred alternative in the area is to cancel 25 undeveloped leases in the area, but allow other leases to continue under the 1993 rule through which they were issued. Other previously issued leases would be modified to follow 2015 U.S. Forest Service regulations. The BLM is reviewing 65 oil and gas leases in the White River National Forest because they were deemed inconsistent with a 1993 U.S. Forest Service plan. They include 25 Thompson Divide leases that it has proposed completely or partially canceling. Under the new plan 27 leases would continue under the old rules and 13 would be updated.
DENVER (AP) – A bill to make it easier for Colorado juries to give the death penalty has failed. The measure was inspired by two 2015 verdicts, in which jurors couldn’t agree on death for mass murderers and the defendants were sentenced to life in prison.
DENVER (AP) – Only four of the estimated 500 oil and gas companies operating in Colorado say they can’t meet the April 1 deadline to implement new safety rules to limit spills during major floods. The rules require such precautions as remote shut-off devices for wells and anchors to keep tanks from falling over if they’re within a government-designated flood plain.
DENVER (AP) – Colorado officials are carefully reviewing tax returns after seeing an increase in fraud, meaning taxpayers might have to wait longer than usual for refunds. The Internal Revenue Service and other states are seeing similar problems, and tax officials across the country are working together to find solutions.