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Pitkin Dems oppose Thompson extensions

Dear Editor:

On Feb. 12, the Pitkin County Democratic Party voted to support the Thompson Divide Coalition’s efforts to let the gas leases expire in the Pitkin County portion of Thompson Divide. We commend the Pitkin Board of County Commissioners for holding a public meeting regarding these gas leases Feb. 27 at Carbondale Town Hall. The meeting was attended by more than 300 residents of the Roaring Fork Valley.

The leases in question have been in place for almost 10 years, and many are due to expire this year (some as early as June). The gas development companies have had 10 years to diligently develop these leases and have not done so. President Barack Obama recently said such leases should be under a “use it or lose it” plan. The BLM is under pressure to open public lands for leasing to drill for oil and gas, threatening water quality and protection of critical wildlife habitat. Protecting the quality of water, land and air is crucial.

Peter McBride’s stunning, short video captures what is at stake in Thompson Divide. You can watch it at http://vimeo.com/60620735. Thompson Divide is truly a beautiful and pristine area and key to the economic viability of this valley. Whether you are a rancher, businessperson, hunter or general outdoor enthusiast, the area represents why many of us have chosen to live and work here and why tourists choose to vacation here.

The Pitkin County Democratic Party endorses the Pitkin County Board of Commissioners in their pursuit to defend the public lands and watersheds of our county. There are four things you can do to voice your opposition to drilling in the Thompson Divide area:

1. Go online to the Thompson Divide Coalition website, watch the stunning, very short vimeo by McBride and sign the petition to the BLM to stop the extension of the leases – http://www.savethompsondivide.org.

2. Write a letter to the BLM urging them to let the leases expire on Thompson Creek; write to: Mr. Neil Kornze, Acting Director, U.S. Bureau of Land Management,1849 C Street NW, Rm. 5665, Washington DC 20240

3. Contact your elected officials:

• Rep. Scott Tipton (225 N. Fifth St., Suite 702, Grand Junction, CO 81501; email: adam.eckman@mail.house.gov.

• Sen. Michael Bennet (1127 Sherman St., Suite 150, Denver, CO 80203; email: noah_koerper@bennet.senate.gov.

• Sen. Mark Udall (400 Rood Ave., Suite 215, Grand Junction, CO 81501; email: jerry_otero.markudall@senate.gov.

4. Spread the word on Facebook, Twitter and Reddit.

Blanca O’Leary

Chair, Pitkin County Democratic Party


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