Barrasso’s Wyoming Range Bill moves forward
by U.S. Senator John Barrasso media release
May 8, 2008
(WASHINGTON) – U.S. Senator John Barrasso, R-Wyo., has secured a significant victory for one Wyoming’s most pristine natural heritages: the Wyoming Range.
The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee voted to pass Barrasso’s “Wyoming Range Legacy Act of 2008,” S. 2229, during a business meeting. The bill now awaits consideration by the full Senate.
“I made a promise to the people of Wyoming to continue the work of our friend Craig Thomas by preserving the Wyoming Range as a key part of our natural heritage,” Barrasso said. “Today’s vote brings us one step closer to enhancing the tourism, recreation, grazing, hunting and sportsmen economy of the Wyoming Range.”
“Wyoming has a proud tradition of supporting the nation’s energy needs and will continue to do so. I strongly support oil and gas development in our state, but I also believe some places are simply too special to develop.”
Barrasso’s bill is supported by Senator Mike Enzi, Wyoming Governor Dave Freudenthal, and a broad coalition of Wyoming residents.
S. 2229 will protect more than 1.2 million acres of the Wyoming Range and Bridger-Teton National Forest by prohibiting future oil and gas leasing, while allowing a buy-out process that respects the property rights of current leaseholders.
The bill allows the remaining leases to be voluntarily purchased, presumably by conservation groups, in order to retire the leases.
The bill provides protection for property rights of existing and valid leases. It does not cancel any existing leases from future production.
There are approximately 4,300 producing oil and gas wells in the three counties covered by the legislation, and a proposal for up to 4,399 additional wells. These wells will not be affected by the bill.
Photo courtesy U.S. Senator John Barrasso's office