Bebout: Don't count on state taking fed land

May 9, 2017 From staff and wire reports

Staff and wire reports

Wyoming Senate President Eli Bebout of Riverton uses the words "pretty remote" in predicting whether Wyoming might assume management of federal land in the near future.

The idea has gained traction recently in other Western states, including Utah.

But Bebout, says he's not a fan of Wyoming suing for control of federal land because the process would be drawn out and unlikely to get good results.

Gov. Matt mead, Bebout's fellow Republican, also has expressed a lack of enthusiasm for the idea.

Bebout said a more focused objective would be for the federal government to speed up permitting for oil drilling and other development on federal land.

He said he's hopeful that can happen under the new Republican presidential administration.

The longtime Riverton lawmaker says Wyoming remains at a competitive disadvantage with states where most oil and gas drilling occurs on private land with fewer environmental regulations.