In Western Wyoming, Gas Industry Faces Crossroads

PINEDALE, Wyo. (AP) - The future of the natural gas industry in the Pinedale area has been a lot less certain lately due to the recession and what industry officials worry will be more regulation.
Environmentalists argued for years that drilling should slow down in prime habitat for antelope, mule deer and sage grouse. Their wish has been granted: The economy has slowed down drilling by more than half from its 2008 peak.
Industry officials, meanwhile, say tighter leasing rules
promised by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar could discourage
drilling in Wyoming in favor of less-regulated private land back
Exactly what that will mean isn't known yet. The U.S. Bureau of Land Management says it's still working out details of the new policies.

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