New oil and gas rules finalized

Laramie, WY – The Obama administration has unveiled new rules for on-shore oil and gas leasing. Wyoming Public Radio's Renny MacKay reports

The new rules apply to the Bureau of Land Management leasing process. This could have a significant impact in Wyoming because the B-L-M oversees the minerals under more than half of the state. For years people in the oil and gas industry have complained about how long it takes to get drilling permit from the B-L-M. While the new rules include more layers of environmental review, B-L-M spokesman Matt Spangler says these changes should shorten the time required to get a drilling permit.
"We hope to stem the tide of litigation and protest that have held a lot of permitting and drilling in recent years so if anything we think this will ultimately result in expediting the process."
Conservation groups in Wyoming are applauding the new rules. One group called the changes a step toward responsible management of the oil and gas industry.
For Wyoming Public Radio I'm Renny MacKay.