Thomas backs environmental buyouts of drilling leasesadmin
A spokesman for Senator Craig Thomas says Thomas believes that local interests should buy back oil and gas drilling leases if they do NOT want drilling to occur on those leases.
Spokesman Cameron Hardy says Thomas is trying to form a coalition that would do such buyouts. He says Thomas believes that the state also should play a role.
Options include buying back the leases with funds from conservation groups or possibly using money from the state budget surplus.
Meanwhile, Hardy says Thomas is working on a bill that would eliminate future leasing in the Wyoming Range in western Wyoming.