Attorney says Salazar could yank Colorado oil, gas leases |

Attorney says Salazar could yank Colorado oil, gas leases

DENVER – Interior Secretary Ken Salazar has the authority to cancel oil and gas leases on western Colorado’s Roan Plateau, said an attorney representing environmental groups challenging the leases.

Last week, Salazar ruled out withdrawing leases issued for more than 50,000 acres of public land on the plateau. He told The Daily Sentinel in Grand Junction last week that the leases have been signed and he is bound to protect the buyers’ property rights.

Michael Freeman, an attorney with Earthjustice, says Salazar can cancel the leases if he determines they were illegal or improper.

Salazar withdrew 77 oil and gas leases in Utah in February, saying they were too close to national parks. He says those leases weren’t as far along in the process as the Roan Plateau leases.

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