Garfield, other western Colorado counties to receive Anvil Points funds |

Garfield, other western Colorado counties to receive Anvil Points funds

Staff report

Garfield County will be among the beneficiaries of an $18 million payment from the U.S. Interior Department from oil and gas development on the Roan Plateau at the federal Anvil Points site.

The money from lease revenues that were collected a decade ago to clean up the former oil shale research site has been held by the department.

“This money is excess funding that was never needed for cleanup purposes and was not returned to the local communities,” according to a bipartisan news release today from Congressman Scott Tipton and U.S. Sens. Cory Gardner and Michael Bennet.

The announcement was made by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke. The money will be distributed to Garfield, Rio Blanco, Moffat and Mesa counties.

Tipton, who represent’s Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District, has worked for several years to ensure that the Anvil Points royalty payments are returned to northwest Colorado.

"Secretary Zinke's announcement during today's Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing signals the end to a very long process, and I could not be more thrilled,” Tipton said in the statement. "This money rightfully belongs to northwest Colorado.”

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“This their money – not the federal government’s,” Sen. Gardner said. “Each county can now use this funding for how they think is best for their region.”

Sen. Bennet said the local counties have been waiting for too long to receive the long-due funding.

“I've been working toward this outcome since arriving in the Senate in 2009,” Bennet said. “Now that Secretary Zinke said 'the check is in the mail,' millions of dollars can be put to use by communities on the Western Slope."