Ah.. perhaps the solution to the mystery, as so often, has something to do with politics..
Here’s a link to the story, and below are excerpts.
SG Interests owns drilling leases in the Thompson Divide, a roadless area near Carbondale. It got the leases during the George W. Bush administration, when the national roadless rule was in a state of confusion over conflicting court rulings and Bush’s repeal of former President Bill Clinton’s roadless rule.
Bush didn’t exactly “repeal” it.. it was enjoined and the Dept. decided to try a different approach. If they had just rescinded it and re-ruled, that would be true..
The new Colorado Roadless Rule adds protections for the Thompson Divide, but it does not completely put the area off-limits to drilling.
Actually it does, for new leases, and leaves the legal status of the others as to be determined by courts.
Conservationists and ranchers are pressing Tipton to introduce a bill to protect the area from future drilling. So far, he has not committed to backing a bill. Instead, he has said he wants to find a compromise solution.
Pace has said he wants to buy back leases from SG and other gas companies so that drilling will not occur in the Thompson Divide.
I don’t think anyone is stopping anyone from buying back the leases.. the price of gas is very low now.. so go for it! Not so sure about using scarce tax dollars, though.. if that’s what he means. I’m not sure that this is the time for greater public expenditures, when we can’t afford the basic recreation program, as discussed elsewhere.