Today, Rep. John Salazar came out in strong support of the Energy Independence Act of 2007 that protects the top of the Roan Plateau and moves the United States toward greater energy independence and security. This energy bill develops innovative new technologies, reduces carbon emissions, creates jobs, protects consumers, increases clean renewable energy production, and modernizes our energy infrastructure.
The Energy Independence Act protects the Roan Plateau by including No Surface Occupancy (NSO) language. This will allow BLM to receive royalty and bonus bids, and will allow the industry to extract the minerals but will not allow any drilling on the federal lands atop the Roan Plateau. Rep. Mark Udall's office worked closely with Rep. Salazar's office to develop the NSO language.
"Responsible development of our natural resources is one of the greatest challenges faced by the United States. We must strike a balance, and I believe this language does just that. It allows access to the Roan's resources from private lands and the base, but protects the vast public lands atop the Roan Plateau," said Rep. Salazar. "I am honored to work with Rep. Udall to reach a responsible alternative that protects the vast public lands atop the Roan and responds to the thousands of concerned Coloradans who we've heard from on this important issue."
"I strongly support this provision and commend Representative Salazar's leadership in the effort to protect the top of the majestic Roan Plateau, while also allowing the responsible development of our domestic gas resources of the Roan area," said Rep. Udall. "We worked together on this approach, which will allow leasing to continue on the Roan Plateau while also ensuring the protection of the critical wildlife, wildlife habitat and open space on the top of the plateau that are of economic importance for hunting and recreation. Representative Salazar and I listened closely to the concerns of the local communities and believe this approach respects their wishes and allows us to move forward in a responsible manner with gas production."
This legislation also includes over $2 billion in the energy title of the 2007 Farm Bill - that Congressman Salazar has been working on since January - that will go to development of cellulosic ethanol, bio-diesel, and other alternative fuels. Grants and loans will be available for the research and development of infrastructure to move forward with renewable fuels, leading the United States away from dependence on foreign resources.
"Our national security depends on the ability to reach energy independence, and agriculture, especially in Colorado, will play a major role in reducing our dependence on foreign oil," said Rep. Salazar.