DENVER — Top Colorado Democrats on Tuesday accused the Trump administration of rushing to open public lands to oil and gas drilling without giving the public nearly enough time to comment.
In letters to the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, Sen. Michael Bennet and Gov. John Hickenlooper also asked the government not to go ahead with plans for oil and gas drilling on habitat for the greater sage grouse, a bird that Western states and federal agencies are trying to protect.
They asked the bureau to withdraw some parcels from a planned December auction of drilling rights on 361 square miles (935 square kilometers) of public land in Colorado, or to put additional restrictions on the parcels.
Steve Hall, a spokesman for the bureau’s Colorado office, said the agency was reviewing Hickenlooper’s letter. The bureau appreciates the state’s input and expects to keep working with Colorado officials, he said. Hall declined to comment on Bennet’s letter.