House Bill 51, “Industrial and energy development protection,” sponsored by Rep. Sue Wallis, R-Recluse, died in committee on Wednesday. As introduced, the measure would have required individuals and organizations that want to challenge an energy or industrial development permit to put post a bond to make up for any delay a company incurs due to the challenge.

The bond amount would be forfeited to the defendant if the court rules against the person or groups that filed the challenge. Environmental groups, including the Powder River Basin Resource Council, had argued there are long-standing administrative and legal procedures to prove standing when challenging a permit application or permitted energy project.

A major point of contention between conservationists and developers in Wyoming is the Wyoming Environmental Quality Council‘s administrative appeals process, which considers challenges to permitting actions by the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality. Developers complain the process is used to unnecessarily delay projects, while protesters often argue they must force DEQ to follow its own rules, regulations as well as state and federal environmental protection laws.

Dustin Bleizeffer

Dustin Bleizeffer is a Report for America Corps member covering energy and climate at WyoFile. He has worked as a coal miner, an oilfield mechanic, and for 22 years as a statewide reporter and editor primarily...

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  1. To add to Dewey’s account, the most hilarious aspect of the backlash against Donahue’s book–an argument for eliminating public lands (BLM) grazing to protect biological diversity–was a bill filed by Senate President Bob Grieve to abolish the University of Wyoming School of Law. That’s right, abolish the School of Law. If one needs proof that the Wyoming Legislature is perennially without adult supervision, Grieve’s bill is all the proof you need. And every legislature, especially the current one, proves it again and again. Just another version of pre-school.

    RH

  2. Wallis’s bill is almost as hilarious as the one that Frank Philp, the big sheeprancher from metropilitan Shoshoni , tried to ram and cram through the Lej about 10 years ago. Philp’s law would’ve made it a high crime to ” Disparage Agriculture”, in any way .

    That’s right…calling out ” Bullsh_t” where the public could plainly hear the term would’ve been a misdemeanor, or worse. Philp’s bill was a direct backlash to UW law professor Debra Donahue’s book about the corruption and favoritism in public lands management ( both federal and state). Wyomig’s agrarian leiglstors almost formed a posse and lynch mob over Donahue’s revelation of the truth sod early guarded by ranchers.

    I hear echoes of that humorous episode in Wallis’ ” Disparagement of Energy and Minerals” initiative. If only she weren’t so serious about it…

    Like Al Simpson says, ” We have a lot of Sacred Cows in Wyoming. Some of them are even cattle…”