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Tipton, Hickenlooper, Udall and Bennet ask Interior to help finalize proposed Roan settlement

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RIFLE, Colorado — Leading Colorado Democrats are joining with Republican Congressman Scott Tipton in asking the Interior Department to finalize a proposed settlement over drilling on the Roan Plateau.

Tipton, Gov. John Hickenlooper and U.S. Sens. Mark Udall and Michael Bennet sent a letter to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell Wednesday asking her to act quickly on the deal reached by environmentalists and the energy industry.

Under the settlement, Bill Barrett Corp. would give up some oil and gas leases in pristine areas atop the vast plateau northwest of Rifle that is home to elk, mule deer and native cutthroat trout. It would be reimbursed about $28 million, and Barrett and others would also be allowed to drill in less controversial areas, some at the base of the plateau near existing wells.

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