Norton: U.S. needs Vermillion Basin gas

The federal government should allow drilling for natural gas in the Vermillion Basin of northwest Colorado, U.S. Senate candidate Jane Norton said.

Norton, a Republican and Grand Junction native, said she opposed plans by the Bureau of Land Management to make the 77,000-acre basin off-limits to gas development.

“An America that’s not willing to drill energy-rich reserves,” Norton said, “is an America that is not serious about energy independence.” Among those reserves are the Roan Plateau and Vermillion Basin in Colorado and the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge.

Norton called for federal recognition of a drilling plan drawn up over the course of eight years with residents of northwest Colorado in which they sought a phased drilling program that would limit surface disturbance.

Last week, Norton released an energy policy that also called for more ambitious development of oil shale in western Colorado, eastern Utah and southwest Wyoming, as well increasing access to coal reserves beneath roadless national forest areas, among other measures.


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