Jan 23, 2013 The Associated Press

New uranium mine proposed

GILLETTE -- A Colorado-based company is proposing to start a new uranium mine in Campbell County in 2015.

Located about 12 miles west of Wright, the 6,000-acre Reno Creek project would operate for 20 years with annual production of about 1.5 million pounds a year. It is proposed by AUC, which is a company affiliated with Bayswater Uranium.

Philip Cavender of AUC says the proposed mine is estimated to bring about $90 million to the state in various mineral taxes.

The project would employ 75 full-time workers with an annual payroll of $5.5 million per year.

Judge hears frack disclosure case

CASPER -- A judge heard arguments Tuesday over whether Wyoming regulators should empower the public to look up the ingredients in the chemical products used for hydraulic fracturing, the petroleum industry practice that splits open oil and gas deposits with pressurized water.

The Powder River Basin Resource Council and others say landowners need to know what those chemicals are in case a gas or oil well rupture or some other mishap released pollutants into their well water.

The council sued last year after the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission partially denied its request for lists of ingredients in fracking chemicals.

Landowners who don't know which chemicals are used in the fracking process are unable to test their groundwater for those specific substances before any contamination occurs. If pollution were to occur, the companies responsible could plausibly deny they were the ones who caused the problem, attorney Tim Preso argued for the council.

"It's a black box. That's the reason why so many landowners are concerned," Preso told Natrona County District Judge Catherine Wilking.

Attorneys for the commission and the Houston-based oilfield services company Halliburton argued that the ingredients often are closely guarded trade secrets that can be cloaked from public release under Wyoming's open records law.

Public disclosure, they argued, could enable a company's competitors to reverse-engineer their best fracking chemical formulations.

That could discourage companies from using their newest products in Wyoming, they said.

Silencer bill advances

CHEYENNE -- Allowing hunters to use silencers is back on the agenda at the state Capitol.

A Senate committee backed a silencer bill on Tuesday, sending it to the full Senate for debate. The vote came less than two weeks after a House committee rejected an identical bill.

They Wyoming Tribune Eagle reported that Sen. Ogden Driskell of Devils Tower introduced the Senate version of the bill after the House one was defeated.

Wyoming is one of the few western states that bar hunters from using silencers.

Rep. Kathy Davison of Kemmerer is the chairwoman of the committee that rejected the House bill and testified against the Senate version.

She said ranchers and property owners depend on hearing gunshots to know if someone is trespassing on their land.

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