Governor Freudenthal Is Critical Of Feds' Energy Leasing Plan

CHEYENNE, (AP) - Governor Dave Freudenthal is warning Interior Secretary Ken Salazar that his plan for increasing scrutiny of oil and gas leasing will burden industry while essentially giving environmentalists veto power over new development.

Salazar said this week that the Bush administration treated public lands like a "candy store" for the energy industry. Salazar says he will require tougher reviews of leasing.

Freudenthal on Friday submitted lengthy comments to Salazar saying he can't support many of the proposed changes. The governor says he would be willing to work with the administration to refine them. Freudenthal urges Salazar to focus on inspections and compliance monitoring to track the energy industry, not on new levels of environmental review.

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