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Release Date: 04/14/11
Contacts: Tom Alvarez, Public Affairs Specialist, (970) 244-3097    

BLM To Hold Public Meetings in Rifle, Meeker and Golden

Meeker, Colo. — The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), White River Field Office (WRFO) will host two public open houses for the second round of Oil Shale Research Development and Demonstration (RD&D) leases.  Two companies with successful nominations warranting further consideration are ExxonMobil Exploration Company and Natural Soda Holdings Inc., for parcels located on public lands in Rio Blanco County, approximately 35 miles southwest of Meeker. Meetings will be in Meeker and Rifle with representatives of both companies and the BLM available to answer questions about the proposed RD&D oil shale leases. 
The first meeting will be in Rifle, on April 27, from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m., at the Garfield County Fairgrounds Event Hall, 1001 Railroad Ave.  The second meeting in Meeker will be on April 28, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Mountain Valley Bank, 400 Main Street.               
ExxonMobil Exploration Company and Natural Soda Holdings, Inc., have submitted plans of operations. Additional information on plans, map of area under consideration and other related details can be viewed on the WRFO website by going to  The two proposals encompass adjacent areas and will be analyzed in one Environmental Assessment (EA). In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the BLM will accept public comments on these proposals for a period beginning on April 18 and end at the close of business on Tuesday, May 17.  Written comments can be mailed to Paul Daggett, BLM WRFO, 220 E. Market Street, Meeker, CO 81641, or sent via email to Please note RD&D Leases in the subject line for all emails.  For more information, please contact Paul Daggett at (970) 878-3819. Before including address, phone number, e-mail address, or any other personal identifying information in your comment, be advised that your entire comment, including personal identifying information, may be made publicly available at any time. While individuals may request BLM to withhold personal identifying information  from public view, the BLM cannot guarantee it will be able to do so.

A fresh look at the oil shale Programmaic Environmental Impact Statement

The BLM will hold separate oil shale public scoping sessions in Rifle on May 3 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Colorado Mountain College and in Golden on May 4 from 1 p.m.  to 4 p.m. and from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Denver West Marriott Hotel. These sessions are different and are being held to take public comments and input on an Oil Shale and Tar Sands Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS). None of the energy companies will be involved in these latter presentations. Comments on the PEIS can also be submitted in writing to Sherri Thompson, BLM Colorado State Office, 2850 Youngfield Street, Lakewood, CO 80215.

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. In Fiscal Year 2015, the BLM generated $4.1 billion in receipts from activities occurring on public lands.

  220 E. Market      Meeker, CO 81641  

Last updated: 10-03-2011