Governor expresses strong support for Wyoming Range bill
by Governor Freudenthal's office
January 9, 2009
(Cheyenne) Ė In a letter to the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee today (Friday, January 9, 2009), Gov. Dave Freudenthal expressed strong support for the Wyoming Range Legacy Act and corrected misinformation about the legislation that has been conveyed by opponents.
The legislation is one of about 150 bills included in S. 22, the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009, that was debated today on the floor of the U.S. Senate. The bill could be voted on as soon as Sunday.
The text of the Governorís letter follows:
January 9, 2009
Senator Jeff Bingaman, Chairman
Senator Lisa Murkowski, Ranking Member
Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee
304 Dirksen Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Dear Senator Bingaman and Senator Murkowski:
I am writing to express my support for passage of S. 22, Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009, which you are now considering. In particular, I write to express my strong support for the Wyoming Range Legacy Act which is contained within S. 22. The Wyoming Range Legacy Act is co-sponsored by Wyoming Senators John Barrasso and Mike Enzi, and enjoys broad bipartisan support in our state.
I write to specifically address inaccurate information that has apparently been conveyed regarding the oil and gas potential underlying the Wyoming Range Withdrawal Area (WRWA). The latest data that we have been able to obtain regarding the estimated undiscovered, technically recoverable oil and gas resources in the WRWA indicates the following:
- Wyoming State Geologic Survey, analysis conducted May 2008:
1.1 trillion cubic feet (tcf) natural gas (mean undiscovered resource)
- US Geologic Survey, analysis conducted June, 2008:
1.5 tcf natural gas (mean undiscovered resource)
5 million barrels oil (mean potential)
These data from the Wyoming State and United States Geologic Surveys should hopefully settle any outstanding questions regarding the resource potential underlying the WRWA. Importantly, any existing leases within the WRWA will not be affected by the legislation currently before you.
Wyoming is proud of its contribution to the energy security of our nation. We are the largest producer of coal in the country and the second largest producer of natural gas. Near to the Wyoming Range are the Jonah and Pinedale Anticline natural gas fields, which are among the top-producing natural gas fields in the world, with estimated reserves of 37 tcf. As such, there should be no question as to whether Wyoming is already contributing substantially to our nationís domestic energy supply. With this information as a backdrop to your consideration of S. 22, protecting the Wyoming Range will not detract in any measurable way from the stateís mineral production, yet it will ensure that some balance is brought between extensive energy development and wildlife, recreation, open space, and other values.
I reiterate my full support for passage of S. 22 and the Wyoming Range Legacy Act and I trust that current and accurate data will inform all discussions regarding the Range and its relationship to energy reserves.