Red Desert drilling plans are headed for the courtroom. Several conservation groups have filed a federal lawsuit over the B-L-M’s recent Rawlins Resource Management Plan – which sets guidelines for how lands in the district will be used and maintained. That plan opened 97-percent of the area to oil and gas leasing – including in Adobe Town and along the Kinney Rim – two areas public comments, and even state officials, overwhelming supported keeping off-limits to development.
Erik Molvar with the Biodiversity Conservation Alliance calls it an extreme example of handing over public lands to the oil and gas industry. B-C-A is involved in the lawsuit.
Rock Springs City Councilperson Joyce Corcoran says with the economic downturn hitting oil and gas prices, she’s convinced the region needs to diversify its income.
Molvar claims environmental damage and air pollution associated with drilling also weren’t fully examined. The B-L-M called the Rawlins plan ‘balanced” when it was released. Drilling leases for the area are scheduled to be offered next week. Molvar says it is within the court’s power to issue an injunction to stop those leases until the case can be considered.