Questions about whether the Trump administration will defend a recent decision canceling oil and gas leases in Thompson Divide led Pitkin County and a local nonprofit to sue the federal government Wednesday, officials said.

The lawsuit, filed by the Pitkin Board of County Commissioners and the Carbondale-based Wilderness Workshop, essentially is an insurance policy in case a judge decides to overturn the Bureau of Land Management’s November decision canceling 25 oil and gas leases in the Thompson Divide, said John Ely, Pitkin County attorney.

A judge might make that decision because SG Interests, a Houston-based oil company that owns 18 of the 25 canceled leases, filed suit in February challenging the BLM’s cancellation decision, he said.

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