Press Releases

Hickenlooper, Bennet, Polis, Neguse Urge Biden Administration to Protect the Thompson Divide

Feb 21, 2024

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senators John Hickenlooper and Michael Bennet alongside Governor Jared Polis and U.S. Representative Joe Neguse called on U.S. Department of Interior (DOI) Secretary Deb Haaland and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack to move quickly to protect the Thompson Divide from future mining and oil and gas drilling by finalizing an Administrative Mineral Withdrawal. In October 2022, President Biden directed DOI and USDA to initiate these protections during his visit to Colorado.

“For over a decade, surrounding communities have unified around the cause to prevent oil and gas development in the Thompson Divide,” wrote the leaders. “Given the extraordinary and broad-based community support for this proposal, we request that the Secretaries move quickly to complete the Administrative Withdrawal in advance of the end of the two-year segregation period with the modifications we outline below.”

The Colorado leaders also urged the Biden administration to adjust the boundaries of the proposed withdrawal following collaborative discussions between local and Congressional leaders, environmental advocates, and oil and mining industry leaders. This includes modifying the boundary for the Muddy Creek and Red Lady/Mt. Emmons areas, in line with the agreements reflected in Bennet, Hickenlooper, and Neguse’s Colorado Outdoor Recreation and Economy (CORE) Act. 

Hickenlooper, Bennet, and Neguse included key provisions to protect the Thompson Divide in the CORE Act, which recently passed out of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources (ENR) Committee with bipartisan support. 

The text of the letter available HERE


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