Meeting for oil shale trust fund ‘stakeholders’ |

Meeting for oil shale trust fund ‘stakeholders’

U.S. Sen. Wayne Allard, R-Colo., said Wednesday he will invite a number of “stakeholders” to participate in a roundtable to develop a way to distribute millions of dollars generated from the Anvil Points oil shale trust fund.

The roundtable meeting will be held Feb. 21 in Denver, according to Allard.

A 1997 law transferring the Roan Plateau near Rifle to Bureau of Land Management authority barred sharing of Roan gas lease revenues with the state until the federal government is fully reimbursed for cleanup of the Anvil Points research station near Rulison. The cleanup is expected to start in June, which could allow for the release of millions of dollars in gas revenues back to Colorado.

“Since I introduced a legislative fix to the mineral royalties situation on the Western Slope in May 2007, there have been several competing proposals, differing analysis and clamoring to take credit for solving this problem,” Allard said in a prepared statement. “It makes no difference to me who fathers the solution to this issue. Nonetheless, one thing needs to be very clear: millions of dollars that Colorado communities are entitled to are at stake.”

Allard is concerned that Congress could siphon off some of the revenues and spend it outside of Colorado.

U.S. Ken Salazar, D-Colo., and his brother, Rep. John Salazar, D-Manassa, have submitted legislation that would immediately send money from the Anvil Points oil shale trust fund to Garfield and Rio Blanco counties.

The two Democrats said their bill would direct Colorado’s share of the fund toward land, water and wildlife protection, along with improvements for roads affected by oil and gas development. Garfield County could receive about $15 million if the legislation passes.

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