According to the Associated Press, Ritter Monday lashed out at the federal government's decision to move ahead with new energy development on the Roan Plateau, pledging in a letter to Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne to support legislation restricting any immediate development.
On Friday the BLM gave final approval to a plan authorizing up to 1,570 new natural gas wells on the plateau, a western Colorado landmark prized for both its large reserves of gas and oil shale and wildland qualities.
The announcement came a day after Jim Hughes, acting BLM director, rejected Ritter's request for 120 days to comment on the Roan Plateau management plan. Hughes wrote in the June 6 letter that the plan was seven years in the making and that the BLM worked closely with the Colorado Department of Natural Resources and other state agencies.Ritter, who took office in January, said the decision not to give his administration time to do its own review "undermines efforts to build what should be a cooperative federal/state relationship."
Ritter joins both Colorado senators, several local governments on the Western Slope, and a broad coalition of hunters and conservationists in questioning the project.