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RBC — U.S. Sen. Wayne Allard (R-Colo.) announced today that the U.S. Dept. of the Interior (DOI) Secretary Dirk Kempthorne has notified him that he will sign a contract in June of this year to begin cleaning up the Anvil Points research site. This action will allow the State of Colorado to begin receiving their portion of the royalties generated from development on the Roan Plateau. The announcement comes after Allard and Kempthorne spoke personally about the issue last month.
“Our investment in the future begins now,” said Allard. “This announcement signals the start of Colorado benefiting from the responsible development of our resources on the Western Slope.”
“Unfortunately, the news from the Department of Interior is not all good,” continued Allard. “Because I have not received the support of the Colorado Congressional delegation, we have not been successful in protecting the millions of royalty dollars already generated and our share of these is now a prime target for others to pick off. A provision included in the budget released by the Department of Interior today would siphon off funds that belong to Colorado. I intend to use my position as the Republican leader on the Interior Appropriations Committee to fight this move.”
“I have been warning my colleagues for some time that this would happen and that we must take action to protect our funds,” said Allard. “As I have said countless times before, the revenue from current leases on the Roan Plateau will not return to Colorado unless we pass legislation mandating that we receive our share. My fears are now a reality and the millions of dollars at stake for Colorado are in even greater jeopardy.”
“We need to pass my mineral royalties legislation (S.1517) to solve this problem,” said Allard. “My plan will not dictate how Colorado must spend these funds, simply protect our share and ensure that Western Slope communities can invest these funds where they are most needed. There may be some in Washington who put a lot of spin on this issue, but it seems clear-cut to me; royalty funds from the Western Slope belong to Colorado communities. We should come together and do what is right for Western Colorado.”
When Congress transferred Naval Oil Shale Reserves to the DOI in 1998, the legislation stated that DOI could not begin the “normal” process of royalty distribution until DOE was compensated for their “original investment” and for the costs of cleanup of the Anvil Points facility.
Oil and gas receipts collected have now surpassed the estimate of what was needed to fully reimburse DOE for the investment the department made in the site. Allard wrote Kempthorne in 2006 requesting the certification that would return the funds to Colorado.