Drilling Plans Slip Through Legacy Act
From the Wyoming News Service
The Wyoming Range Legacy Act signed into law last year put protections in place for more than one million acres of hunting and recreation land in the Bridger-Teton National Forest. But oil and gas leases granted prior to the law are still in play. The Forest Service releases an environmental analysis of drilling plans this week.
The group, Citizens for the Wyoming Range, is holding a meeting Monday evening in Jackson. Dan Smitherman is the group’s spokesman. He says public comments on the Forest Service materials are expected to be numerous, and that may affect what happens next.
“Let them proceed with their production plan – then the bottom line is to put the most stringent set of environmental regulations in place that we can.”
Smitherman says technology has advanced, which could be good news for limiting the impact of the projects on environmentally-sensitive lands.
“And hope that when the company looks at the public opinion, looks at the cost of actually producing this gas, that they’ll make a decision to negotiate a buy-out.”
Selling or donating leases is not unprecedented, it’s happened recently along Montana’s Rocky Mountain Front. However, Plains Exploration and Production Company – which owns the leases – has indicated they intend to drill.