Coalition to hold town hall meeting this evening on Thompson Divide gas issues |

Coalition to hold town hall meeting this evening on Thompson Divide gas issues

Scott Condon
The Aspen Times
Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

CARBONDALE, Colorado – A grassroots organization trying to limit oil and gas exploration in the Thompson Divide area west and southwest of Carbondale is holding a town hall meeting today to update members on numerous issues.

The meeting will be from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. at Carbondale Town Hall.

“This is an important informational meeting about clear water and air for Carbondale, what oil and gas development means in the Thompson Divide area, and what you can do to help,” says a notice for the meeting. Organizers will discuss an SG Interests “unitization proposal,” which would group leases together into a unit with a long-term development plan.

Critics claim the move is designed to avoid expiration of leases. Officials with the Bureau of Land Management said unitization can provide an orderly development plan.

The town hall meeting will also be used to present results of a year-long water quality study. The meeting will include a question and answer session and an outline of next steps.

Thompson Divide Coalition organizers hope to meet this month with U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton, who represents the 3rd Congressional District, which includes Garfield and Pitkin counties. The coalition wants his aid on legislation solutions to limiting exploration in that area.

Thompson Divide Coalition wants to protect 221,490 acres of federal land in Pitkin, Gunnison, Garfield, Delta and Mesa counties. The largest share of land, 88,100 acres, is in western Pitkin County.

There are currently 81 gas leases in the area, covering about 105,000 acres. The coalition wants to prevent future leasing in the area and explore ways to retire existing leases.

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