Environmental Quality Council Looks Into Split Estate

Cheyenne, WY – Governor Dave Freudenthal gave the state Environmental Quality Council the green light Tuesday to explore possible changes in state law to address disputes between landowners and those who hold mineral rights to the land. More than 11 million acres in Wyoming have divided ownership, known as split estates. The council wanted to guage Freudenthal's feelings before it examined switching oil and gas permitting regulations from the control of the Oil and Gas Conservation Commission to the Environmental Quality Council, which now handles disputes over mining permits. Freudenthal urges the council to proceed, but warned it will encounter tremendous opposition from the drilling industry.