Here is some good news.
The U. S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee yesterday passed a bill closing 1.2 million (!!) acres of the Wyoming Range mountains to natural gas exploration and production. This highly scenic, unstable, and wildlife rich mountain range is west of Big Piney and Daniel and south of Jackson, Wyoming. Little known outside the state of Wyoming, it is one of those rare places favored for protection from the oil industry by a state’s two Republican senators, a fact that moved it through the Senate Committee.
It still needs full Senate approval and action by the U.S. House of Representatives.
The area to the Range’s the east, the Green River Basin, has become a major natural gas production area of the United States. The Wyoming Range is also favorable to gas deposits, but its complex Overthrust Belt geology means the gas fields will be harder to find and broken up. The gas is likely to be sour (laced with deadly hydrogen sulfide gas), and exploration and production horribly corrupting of the landscape.
“Under the Wyoming Range Legacy Act of 2007, no additional oil and gas leasing, mining patents or geothermal leasing would be allowed in the 100-mile-long area of the range that is part of the Bridger-Teton National Forest in western Wyoming.” Read the rest in the Casper Star Tribune. By Noelle Straub. Star-Tribune Washington bureau
Some photos, I posted to Panaramio of parts of the Wyoming Range included in this legislation.