Washington D-C – Governor Dave Freudenthal is urging the Wyoming congressional delegation and specifically Senator Craig Thomas to pass legislation to eliminate oil and gas leasing on the Wyoming range. A spokesman for Senator Thomas says he is doing just that. Cameron Hardy says the bill would eliminate future leasing in the Wyoming range but Hardy says the Senator has a strong belief that local interests should buy back leases that have already been purchased by energy companies. Hardy says the Senator has been trying to form such a coalition and he believes the state of Wyoming should also play a role. "Whether that money comes from conservation groups or whether the state wants to use the windfall we got them from the abandoned mine land fund and put that money towards buying back leases...either one of those would be good options." Hardy says Thomas has been working on the issue for a number of years and has had success in getting the number of previous leases reduced.