CARBONDALE, Colo. (AP) – A western Colorado coalition is proposing a settlement to reimburse companies who own natural gas leases in the Thompson Divide area in exchange for protection from any further energy development there.

The Thompson Divide Coalition has sent letters to six companies promising to reimburse them for what they’ve invested on the leases. Board member Jock Jacober said Wednesday the reimbursements would amount to an estimated $2.5 million, which the coalition plans on continuing to raise through events like fundraisers.

However the disbursement of funds is contingent on Congress passing legislation that would protect the Thompson Divide.

Encana Oil & Gas is one of the companies that received a letter. Spokesman Doug Hock says the company hasn’t had a chance to thoroughly review it. Other companies haven’t commented.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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