zane kessler

Zane Kessler, former Senate stafftivist.

A Thompson Divide deal is in the works to exchange those 30,000 acres of oil and gas leases for different holdings on public land in Delta and Mesa Counties, the Denver Post reports.

The proposal from two energy companies affected – SG Interests and Ursa Operating Company — will be considered today at a Garfield County commissioners meeting.

“Both SG and Ursa have approached us about signing a letter of support,” Garfield County Commissioner Tom Jankovsky said. “This could be a very positive step on both sides, and hopefully there will be room to negotiate and move this forward.”

Keeping their powder dry until the details are public and they can find something to gripe about, are the Aspenite scolds whose ranks include a former official from U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet’s office.

Zane Kessler worked on energy issues for Bennet, a position that held influence over agencies like the Forest Service and BLM, which he now lobbies to renege on the lease deal the government made with the companies.

It will be interesting to see how Kessler uses that influence with his former boss over this new proposal, as the Garfield County officials are drafting a letter to Bennet, U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner, and U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton asking them to draft legislation to support the land swap.

Zane Kessler, executive director for the Thompson Divide Coalition, which has been working to acquire or otherwise have the Thompson Divide leases retired, said he was aware that the leaseholders were preparing a proposed settlement.

Kessler said he would reserve comment until the Monday meeting, when he said he hopes to learn details of the proposal.

We expect one or two scenarios: either the envirowhacktivists will oppose it outright, or support the swap and then relocate their efforts under the name of a new group farther west to protest against those leases.

Call us cynical, but we know that nothing EVER satisfies the greenies. Their own mothers could offer them the sweetest of apple pies, and they would still stomp their smelly Birkenstocks and claim the desert was poison.