Agreement would speed drilling in Wyoming

Laramie, Wyo. – Officials in the Bush Administration have been working on an inter-agency agreement that would speed up oil and gas development in Wyoming and the West.

An official at the Environmental Protection Agency in Denver confirmed that the memorandum of understanding would reduce the amount of air-quality analysis needed for oil and gas drilling projects.

One of those projects is along the eastern flank of the Wyoming Range. Lisa McGee at the Wyoming Outdoor Council says USDA Undersecretary Mark Rey was a key player in the proposal.

"Mark Rey is still seemingly meddling in what appears to be a last-ditch effort to oversee a decision that would open up the Wyoming Range to new leasing."

EPA officials in Denver say they pushed back against the proposal. Regional director Larry Svoboda says he thinks the agreement is a bad idea and recommended that it be scrapped. It's unclear if the proposal could still go through.