WPR News
12:46 pm
Mon December 8, 2003

State Seeks Methane Suit Transferred To Wyoming

Cheyenne, WY – Wyoming officials will be trying to get a Montana lawsuit over coal-bed methane development in the Powder River Basin moved to a state federal court this week. Attorney General Pat Crank says environmental groups filed the suit in federal court in Billings, Montana shortly after the Bureau of Land Management released it's environmental impact statement. Crank objects to environmental groups engaging in what he calls "forum shopping" for their action. He says they filed the suit in Montana to take advantage of a 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that says water discharge is a type of pollutant. Crank says you can't produce coal-bed methane without producting water so he calls the suit a threat to Wyoming. He says the U-S Justice Department agrees with Wyoming and has filed a similar change of venue motion.