Representative Ray Scott, (D54 Grand Junction) took Governor John Hickenlooper to task in a press release Dated May 23, 2012 saying, "From his first day as governor, Gov. Hickenlooper should have been leading the charge for a negotiated settlement to responsibly develop these critical BLM leases just as other Western states are doing now."
The statement from Representative Scott is the last in a series of attempts he has made to prod the Governor to action regarding the ongoing and contentious issues of the Roan Plateau.
"Colorado needs an all-of-the-above energy strategy that responsibly develops our natural resources in order to boost our energy independence and accelerate our economic recovery."
Ray Scott of the Colorado Statehouse has sought inroads through the Governor's office to help spur the languishing economy of Western Colorado and his hometown of Grand Junction, which has a an unemployment rate of around 10%. Despite Scott's efforts, John Hickenlooper has given little attention to the dire jobs outlook of the Western Slope.
U.S. District Judge Marcia Kreiger heard arguments in Denver earlier this week regarding a lawsuit against the Bureau of Land Management that was brought by environmentalist organizations four years ago. This lawsuit has tied up 73,000 acres of land on Western Colorado's Roan Plateau, virtually cutting off any potential for the development of its abundant energy resources.
Representative Scott is supporting the BLM in its efforts to open up the Roan Plateau to responsible development. He further states in his press release, "A ruling against the BLM would be devastating to the Western Slope economy. Thousands of jobs would be lost, home sales would fall, and tax revenue would plummet. Colorado would also stand to lose $56 million in federal lease money received."
Ray Scott, whose background is in small business, as well as the gas and oil industry, has been an advocate for Colorado's energy economy. His ties to Western Colorado and its energy industry are part of the impetus for his push to get Governor Hickenlooper to take a stand on this critical issue. Thus far, John Hickenlooper has been largely unresponsive to these concerns.