Wyoming Wins Coalbed Venue Case

Billings, MT – A federal magistrate in Montana says challenges to coal-bed methane development plans in Wyoming should be decided in a Wyoming court. U-S Magistrate Richard Anderson says parts of a lawsuit conservation groups filed against the B-L-M will remain in the Billings court, but other claims should be transferred to Wyoming. The groups say the B-L-M should have done a single environmental impact statement on the effects of coal-bed methane drilling in the Powder River Basin. Wyoming Attorney General Pat Crank called Anderson's decision an important victory for Wyoming. In his ruling, Anderson says Wyoming's interest in coal-bed methane development greatly outweighs the plaintiffs' desire to keep the entire case in Montana.