Fight over drilling SW Colo. mountains in court

AP News
Posted: Dec 30, 2009 2:33 PM

Opponents of a federally approved plan to drill dozens of natural gas wells in the HD Mountains in southwest Colorado are taking their fight to court.

Attorneys representing environmental groups suing the federal government will argue their case Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Denver. The lawsuit is challenging plans to plan to drill gas from underground coal seams.

Opponents say the drilling will wipe out old-growth trees and carve out at least 11 miles of new roads in the some of the steepest and most rugged mountains in southwest Colorado.

The U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management have said the drilling can be done while minimizing the impacts to the environment.

(This version CORRECTS that the case is in federal court instead of federal appeals court.)