Gingery Tours Wyoming Range Oil and Gas Lease Holdings
State Representative Keith Gingery of Jackson, announced today that he spent the morning flying over the Wyoming Range and the Hoback area looking at disputed oil and gas leases. The Wilderness Society and the Wyoming Outdoor Council arranged with EcoFlight to fly Rep. Gingery, the Mayor of Pinedale, and 2 reporters from Pinedale over the Wyoming Range for a 2 hour flight in a small Cessna. EcoFlight works to advocate for the environment by getting policy makers into the air to see the issues from above.
The Wyoming Outdoor Council has worked throughout the past few years with Rep. Gingery to obtain state support in fighting against certain oil and gas leases that have been issued in the Wyoming Range. Stanley Energy has leases on about 44,000 acres in the Merna area that are in dispute. The Bridger-Teton Forest is presently reviewing their previous action and have the option to revoke the leases.
The other leases that Rep. Gingery looked at today was the leases held by Plains Exploration in the Hoback Ranches Subdivision area. These are valid leases and are not in dispute. However, the plan put forth by Plains is quite extensive and needs to be modified to take into account the homeowners and the wildlife in the area. Rep. Gingery believes the best option is for Plains to abandon their plans to develop the area or that a conservation group work with Plains to buy out the leases.
Rep. Gingery stated “it is one thing to look at lease holdings on a map, but a very different thing to actually see where they are going to go from the air. This is perfect wildlife habitat, with wide open meadows and forest. This is not open sage country like the Pinedale anticline or Jonah Field. This is not an area that should be developed for natural gas. It is a great thing that Senator Barrasso was successful with protecting the core area of the Wyoming Range, but we still have a lot of work to do, to deal with these already existing leases and the Stanley leases that are in dispute. The public should encourage Bridger-Teton Supervisor Hamiltion to revoke the Stanley leases in the Merna area. ”
Rep. Gingery also reviewed the leases that are present in Teton County near Hoback Junction. Gingery stated, “I agree with the Governor that this is starting to look like a game of dominoes. If Plains begins their development of the Hoback Ranch Subdivision, and then Stanley is allowed to develop Merna, and then Stanley moves on into McDougal Gap and Lookout Mountain, there is the risk that the development will just continue on up into Teton County on already existing valid leases near Hoback Junction. There has been some discussion that the natural gas, sour gas, and helium potentials in southern Teton County may end up being more extensive than the Jonah Field. There is certainly a need for natural gas, but there are certain areas that should be off limits, such as Teton County and the eastern slope of the Wyoming Range in Sublette County.”