Washington D-C – The U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee approved legislation to prevent oil and gas drilling on over one million acres of land in the Wyoming Range.
Wyoming Republican Sen. John Barrasso sponsored the bill. It
would protect the popular hunting and recreation area within the
Bridger-Teton National Forest.
The legislation provides protection for existing leases, but
allows remaining leases to be voluntarily purchased by conservation
groups so they can be retired.
Pressure to drill for gas in Wyoming is increasing as many
industries switch their energy supplies to cleaner-burning natural
The Bush administration has expressed concerns with the bill,
saying it could result in lost energy resources and tax revenue.
The bill now heads for consideration by the full Senate.