A Bureau of Land Management proposal to cancel some oil and gas leases in the Thompson Divide outright and place new restrictions on others overlooks the option that would better compensate energy companies for the lost leases, a staffer for Congressman Scott Tipton says.

“We would like to move forward with a lease swap as the best solution,” Brian Meinhart, regional director and policy adviser for Tipton, said Tuesday during a discussion with Garfield County commissioners.

Doing that, though, requires a simple lease-for-lease exchange with no other stipulations that could make the proposal difficult to earn congressional support, he said.

SG Interests and Ursa Resources proposed last spring to trade about two dozen undeveloped leases in the Thompson Divide area southwest of Glenwood Springs for new leases farther west.

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