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U.S. Congress takes up Utah land bill sponsored by Rep. Jim Matheson

By Paul Foy

Associated Press

Published: Monday, June 18 2012 5:06 p.m. MDT

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah will swap mineral rights with the Ute Indians in a land exchange that advanced in Congress on Monday.

The U.S. House of Representatives approved and sent the legislation for a vote by the Senate.

Utah would swap 20,000 acres of mineral rights from one part of the Uintah and Ouray Reservation to another part of the reservation where oil and gas can be more easily developed.

State officials say they will develop the oil and gas rights jointly with a tribal business, Ute Energy LLC.

Rep. Jim Matheson, D-Utah, is the sponsor of House Resolution 4027.

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