Background: The Trump administration has aggressively promoted energy production on public lands, including in Colorado. The state is among the leaders in drilling on public lands, and the effort is expanding. In 2017, the federal Bureau of Land Management wanted to limit oil and gas production on 190,000 acres in eastern Colorado, but in 2019, the BLM suggested granting protections to fewer than 2,000 acres. This has riled wildlife conservationists who want to protect habitats, including those for the sage grouse, and also those who want to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Proponents counter that the lease proceeds can help fund national parks.
Backed the agency’s move to Colorado
A: He said it made sense to move the agency that manages public lands closer to them and supported the move. But he expressed concern that it delivered fewer jobs than first promised and the agency doesn’t have a director who supports public lands.
Concerned about move’s impact on agency
A: Romanoff said he’s always glad for jobs in Colorado but is concerned about what the move signaled. “I don’t support an effort to dismantle the BLM or drive the workers to quit so you can shut down the agency,” he said. If that was the motivation for relocating the headquarters, he added, “I’m not for that.”