A judge is set to hear oral arguments in May in a lawsuit challenging the federal government’s auctioning of leases for natural gas development on public land on the Roan Plateau.
Environmentalists filed the lawsuit in 2008 seeking to cancel the leases. They say that when the Bureau of Land Management developed a plan allowing for hundreds of wells to be drilled on the plateau, it ignored thousands of comments from some Colorado towns and others who wanted to protect the largely untouched top of the plateau from development. They also say the agency’s environmental analysis of the potential impacts of development was inadequate.
The BLM has said the plan was developed after years of study and public input and that it includes environmental safeguards.