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Energy

Trump administration again backs off plan for drilling on Colorado public land

It's the second time in two weeks the bureau has withdrawn land from a planned Dec. 13 auction of drilling rights

The Trump administration is again shelving plans to allow oil and gas drilling on public land in Colorado after complaints from state officials and activists.

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management said Friday some of the land is in big game habitat and some is in the North Fork Valley in western Colorado, where bureau officials are in the process of revising resource management plans.

The land covers about 116 square miles (300 square kilometers) in 58 parcels.

“We appreciate the BLM’s thoughtful decision to listen to the concerns of Coloradans,” U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet said in a written statement. “The Governor and I worked in lockstep to ensure the input of communities, sportsmen, and conservationists was at the center of this process. We will continue working with the BLM to balance responsible energy development with other natural resource priorities in Colorado.”

It’s the second time in two weeks the bureau has withdrawn land from a planned Dec. 13 auction of drilling rights.

On Oct. 19, the bureau said it was removing 230 square miles (600 square kilometers) because it’s habitat for the greater sage grouse, which Western states and federal agencies are trying to protect.

MORE: Trump’s “energy dominance” agenda arrives in Colorado with BLM’s plan to sell oil and gas leases across record-sized swath of Colorado


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