As folks may recall, Wyoming’s US Senator Craig Thomas died recently. Thomas was moving to protect the Wyoming Range mountains from oil and gas leasing and development.
His replacement is appointed Republican John Barrasso. Barrasso responds in the article below, saying that he too wants to protect the area, but worries about the oil companies property rights (which would have to be purchased by the US government).
I have a number of comments.
First, an oil or gas lease is a property right. If you don’t want to have to buy them out, don’t issue them! A year ago there were no oil or gas leases in public land in the area of the Wyoming Range. The Forest Service and the BLM did not have to issue these permits. These federal agencies created these property rights of their own free will (of maybe that Dick Cheney).
Second, the local residents have property rights too, and they precede the newly created property rights of the oil companies. The residents’ property is likely to be harmed, maybe severely by gas drilling and production. These property rights should be protected just as much and more than those of the oil companies.
Third, the Forest Service and BLM should not create any new property rights for oil companies (leases) in the Wyoming Range or elsewhere, where there is such widespread opposition and/or sensitive scenery and wildlife habitat.
I hope Senator Barrasso believes that the property rights of his constituents are just as important as those of the oil companies.
Senator for energy use buyout. Barrasso keeps Thomas’ legacy in mind but wants to make his own decisions on issues. By Noah Brenner. Jackson Hole News and Guide.