Mesa County's Commissioners are weighing in on federal legislation that would allow the exchange of oil and gas leases in the Thompson Divide area for federal mineral leases on the Grand Mesa, the Uncompahgre and the Gunnison National Forest.
The move would be good for Mesa County, officials say, because the oil and gas leases would allow for oil and gas development.
Mesa County officials want to make certain, however, that development would occur. Currently, development in the Thompson Divide area is halted because of litigation.
Mesa County has long held a position of supporting responsible resource development, and this proposed lease exchange fits with the county's vision for economic development.
In a letter to U.S. Sens. Michael Bennet and Cory Gardner and U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton, the Commissioners wrote:
"Under this proposal, Mesa County would derive direct economic benefits from the development of federal minerals located within our borders. We would also benefit from the development of those in neighboring Delta County, insofar as we are an economic and commercial hub for the region, and would therefore support many of the jobs that this development would create.
"We would ask that some form of assurance be provided that development will be allowed to proceed in as timely and efficient manner as legally and practically possible. ...we do not wish to see the conflict currently brewing in the Thompson Divide merely shifted westward."
To read the full letter, go here.