The U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) plan to allow drilling on
the Roan Plateau in Colorado—a 50,000 acre area that the energy industry
believes to contain “one of the largest gas fields in the continental
United States,” according to Reuters—has
been stopped by U.S. District Court Judge Marcia Krieger for failing to
adequately address environmental impacts. Among the largest concerns
are air-quality issues resulting from ozone emissions.
“Like many areas of Colorado, the area has been blessed with an
abundance of two major resources, the uses of which are often in
conflict,” wrote Krieger in a 38-page opinion document, according to Reuters.
“Its surface offers extensive and largely unspoiled … scenic,
ecological and wildlife virtues. Below the surface … contains valuable
oil and gas reserves.”
“The Roan is one of Colorado’s gems,” said Earthjustice attorney Mike Freeman, according to the Associated Press.
“It’s going to get a second look, and we hope it will be protected.”
Earthjustice is representing a host of environmental organizations
involved in the lawsuit challenging the BLM’s plans.