Wyoming, Utah and Colorado had a major overhaul this month regarding energy development.
The Interior Department has designated more than 800,000 acres of public land for energy development, but has issued more rigid environmental protections and royalty rates. The move is getting mixed reviews, depending on the point of view of either the developers or those who have other interests in the land. Bill Midcap, spokesman for the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union, says he's in favor of the changes because it looks like it will free up water for
Recreational users also support the department's land-lease limits. Jason Keith with the Outdoor Alliance.
The Department of Interior is considering implementing even more environmental precautions concerning air, water and wildlife protection. The public comment period on the new set of regs is open through May.