Billings, MT – Federal efforts to protect sage grouse
and other wild birds from natural gas drilling in Wyoming's Powder River Basin ran into resistance today (Tuesday) from industry workers. More than 150 coal-bed methane workers protested the restrictions outside the Bureau of Land Management field office in Buffalo. Coal-bed methane is a type of natural gas that's pumped from coal seams. Industry officials say "thousands" of coal-bed methane workers have lost their jobs in recent weeks due to severe weather and weakened prices for natural gas. They also say that more drilling is being halted during the springtime due to restrictions to protect breeding sage grouse. Many of those restrictions are in place along Wyoming's Powder River, an area that has been facing increasing drilling pressure.