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Roan Plateau leases officially canceled following environmental protests

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GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado — The Bureau of Land Management has officially canceled 17 of the 19 natural gas leases on top of the Roan Plateau west of Rifle as part of a landmark settlement agreement announced by Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell in November.

The agreement includes refunding more than $47 million in bonus bids and annual rental payments to leaseholder Bill Barrett Corp.

In exchange, the BLM is working on a plan to allow the two remaining Barrett leases and a dozen other leases near the base of the Roan to be developed.

All of the leases have been locked up for the past six years due to a legal challenge from conservation groups regarding the original BLM Environmental Impact Statement under which the leases were sold.

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