Split Estate Measure Dies in House

Cheyenne, WY – The minerals industry scored a major victory in the Wyoming House Tuesday. Representatives killed a measure designed to work out differences between mineral rights holders and surface land owners. The bill was touted by supporters as a way to solves disputes in gas development areas. While Representative Pete Illoway admits there have been conflicts that shouldn't have happened, he thought this bill went too far. Pennie Vance of the Powder River Basin Resource Council is disappointed the issue won't be debated this session, but was pleased to hear the Speaker of the House say the issue would again be on agendas before the 2005 Session. Governor Dave Freudenthal also looks forward to revisiting the measure next year. He says he hopes to move past the "alarmist speculation" that a vote for the protection of surface owners is a vote for the "demise of industry."