Billings, Mt – Attorneys for Wyoming have asked a federal magistrate to decide if lawsuits challenging coal-bed methane plans should be heard in Montana.
Conservation groups had sued the Bureau of Land Management and Department of Interior. Among their claims was that a single environmental study looking at the potential effects of coal-bed methane development should have been done for the Powder River Basin. The mineral-rich basin is in Montana and Wyoming. But each state has its own development plans.
Government attorneys said the plans looked at different things and that each state has its own regulations for development.
They asked U-S Magistrate Richard Anderson in Billings, Montana, either to dismiss Wyoming-based claims or transfer them to Wyoming.
Anderson did NOT immediately rule.