U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet seems pretty confident that when the BLM makes its decision on the Thompson Divide, it will be to cancel existing leases for oil and gas development.
Why else would he continue to pursue legislation to retire existing leases should those be sold or donated by, you know, willing owners?
The BLM is still toying with the idea of whether they will continue to allow drilling within the 221,000-acre parcel that adjoins Pitkin, Gunnison, and Garfield counties.
But that didn’t stop Bennet from introducing a bill last year that would also allow the withdraw of unleased public minerals from future development while “also preserving existing private property rights for current leaseholders.”
Whatever that means.
Now comes a recent report that Bennet will soon reintroduce the bill for consideration during this session of Congress.
But let’s review: Last year Bennet’s party controlled the Senate, and his bill went nowhere. This year the Senate has a Republican majority and is led by the pro-energy Mitch McConnell from Kentucky.
Therefore, we give this bill four-snowballs-chance-in-Hell of passage.
The Post Independent also reported that U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner is looking forward to opening a dialogue with the oxymoronically named Thompson Divide Coalition about their exhaustive efforts to ban energy development. Although no meeting has been set, and Gardner has not indicated whether he would even support Bennet’s bill.