The White River National Forest’s recently released that the oil and gas leasing plan is “marred with political interference,” lacks proper analysis and fails to balance energy development with conservation interests, say a trio of trade groups in making their formal objection to the plan Tuesday.

In particular, the plan released by WRNF Supervisor Scott Fitzwilliams in December, does not recognize the importance of two shale-gas plays that lie beneath the local forest in meeting the nation’s future energy needs, according to a joint statement issued by the Western Energy Alliance, West Slope Colorado Oil and Gas Association (WSCOGA) and Public Lands Advocacy.

“While failing to analyze the actual oil and natural gas potential in the area, particularly of the Mancos and Niobrara formations, the Forest Service blithely removes nearly 1.3 million acres from oil and natural gas leasing,” the groups argue.

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